Hot Ticket: CMW - BlogTO Style
With the dizzying array of bands on this year's Canadian Music Week roster, it can drive one more than a little crazy to try and chose. So let us help you! We're nice like that! Since we're a diverse crew, we're tossing out suggestions with a little bit of everything, just for you. And we'll be there, so we expect to be held accountable for these recommendations. So if you see us and approach us with a smile, then we're glad to have been of service. But if you come at us with a fist and a snarl ... uh,BlogTO who??
The Official BlogTO music staff CMW picks are:
The Reason - Small Records' The Reason play their second show in Toronto in the last three weeks. For fans of Boy's Night Out, the new album Things Couldn't Be Better is decidedly more upbeat and dancey. The show is also the CD Release party. The band gets underway with Mute Math and The Cinematics at the Opera House at 8pm. - Ryan L.
Josh Martinez - follows in a long line of very talented BC-born Vancouver hip hop MCs. I checked him out at last year's CMW. I was very impressed, and even more entertained. He keeps it fun, the beats are fresh and Martinez really gets the crowd involved. Highly recommended, if you don't mind a few tracks on the R&B tip. Thursday at the Reverb, 10:45pm. - Mike R.
The High Dials - I first discovered this band 2 years ago and was immediately hooked on their lush, catchy, 60's psych-pop music. Let's hope that their recent discovery by Rogers (who is currently using their song "Holy Ground" in a TV ad spot) won't catapult them into impossibly large venues, otherwise this might be your last "I saw them when" chance. Thursday at the Silver Dollar, 11pm. - Beth
Souljazz Orchestra - No luck getting into the at-capacity CD release party for this Ottawa Afrobeat crew at The Riv a few weeks ago? Your groove ship has come in, 'cause for a mere seven bucks, you can check out not only Souljazz (weird air-band photos aside, they can really play) but four more acts under the Music Dish umbrella: Ottawa neo-soul diva Melissa Laveaux; Montreal's Caroline Glass, once an "ethnic woodwind" with Cirque du Soleil now performing solo, folksy pop; and locals including conscious reggae band Kobotown and jazzy funksters Gruvoria. Thursday at The Trane (964 Bathurst St), show starts at 8:30pm, Souljazz at 11:30pm. - Jonathan
Les Breastfeeders - BlogTO covered this Montreal band in our CBC 'See Vous Play' post back in October. Garry, Panthea and I were all blown away by these explosive and unrestrained tour de force French indie rockers. Get there early or be disappointed. Thursday at the Silver Dollar, 1:00am. - Mike R.
Royal Wood and Danielle Duval - Two talented singer/songwriters with vastly different styles. Royal Wood's piano-infused melodies are followed by Danielle Duval's infectious rock . Thursday at the El Mocambo, 12:00am & 1:00am. - Kevin
Cadence Weapon - A Polaris nominee last year and winner of a CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award for Best Flow, Edmonton's breakout MC has been lauded and marked as one to watch by music critics everywhere, even eliciting a comparison from Exclaim! mag to "young Canuck Roots Manuva." True, the SXSW-bound boy's also performing Wednesday night at The Docks for the Indie Awards show (he's up for Best Urban Artist) where heavy hitters The Stills, Rough Trade, DJ Champion and others are well worth catching. But I'm just as excited about the other acts at this Friday night show - You Say Party! We Say Die!, Mother Mother, Land of Talk and their touring buddies, hometown boys Kill The Lights, who are on fire these days and will drop a new album called "Buffalo of Love" on March 13. Friday at the Horseshoe Tavern, show starts at 8pm, Cadence Weapon at 11pm. - Jonathan
My Latest Novel - Who says Canadian Music Week has to be all about Canada? On Friday, The Drake presents the "Finnish Moosic Tour" showcase, featuring bands from across the pond, including My Latest Novel. To say that MLN's sparkling chamberfolk may just make them Glasgow's Latest Arcade Fire is a steeply unfair comparison, but I (and a million critics) am making it anyway. Decide for yourself Friday at the Drake, 12am. - Beth
The Besnard Lakes - Watch for this psychedelic Montreal band to go nuts with material from their recent release, The Besnard Lakes are the Darkhorse. I missed them opening for Apostle of Hustle at the Rivoli, but this is a band that can use a bigger venue like Lee's. Friday at Lee's Palace, 11pm. - Kevin
The End is set to crush the stage at The Reverb on Saturday at 11:30pm. Well known for their blistering yet incredibly tight brand of metal, the boys also take things in a new direction with their just-released second album, Elementary. If your ears aren't hurting from all the other bands you've seen, this'll do it. - Ryan L.
Two Hours Traffic and In-Flight Safety - East Coast pop is going strong these days, and these two back-to-back sets are going to set the crowd afire before the Golden Dogs set at midnight. Saturday at the Horseshoe Tavern, 10 and 11pm. - Kevin
The Pipettes - Paying homage to 60's girl-pop groups like the Ronettes and the Shangri-la's, the UK's Pipettes deliver a sweet, lo-fi sound that would do Phil Spector proud. The charming thing about this band is that they manage to make a style that could be very retro-tired sound both kitschy and clever. Fans of the likes of The Go Team or Camera Obscura should be pleased as punch with the Pipettes. Saturday at the Rivoli, 12:30am. - Beth
The Red Sparowes - Metal men gone soft? The Red Sparowes bring their spatial guitar dreamwork to the El Mocambo. Featuring former members of well-know metal bands like Isis and Neurosis, this music sounds a lot more like Pelican than Pantera. Experimental rock at its best. Saturday at the Elmo, 12:30 am. - Ryan L.
The Buttless Chaps - As if the fabulous, funny and fun-tastic experience that is the Vancouver (formerly Victoria) based Chaps' live show weren't enough - they'll likely play whichever collage of their many songs they feel like playing that night, though cuts from their 2006 release Where Night Holds Light should get their turn. To boot, the Chaps share the stage with Toronto-born Sarah Noni Metzner (who's called Vancouver, Victoria and other parts of B.C. home), plus Canadian Folk Award-winning VanCity twangstress T. Nile, the "cabaret cowboys and bubblegum dandies" of Halifax's Brent Randall and his Pinecones, and Scottish violinist/singer-songwriter sensation Laura McGhee. Saturday at the Cadillac Lounge, show starts at 9pm, Buttless Chaps at midnight. - Jonathan
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