Hot Ticket: Don Ross, Gene Ween, Sunparlour Players, Two Koreas, Metz, Pavlov's Dog's Orchestra, Luke LaLonde, The Breeders, and More!
Live music picks for THURSDAY AUGUST 13 through TUESDAY AUGUST 20, 2009
THURSDAY AUGUST 13 / DON ROSS / HUGH'S ROOM / 2261 DUNDAS ST W / $25
DON ROSS is one of the world's greatest fingerstyle guitarists, with a unique style that incorporates percussive techniques and alternate tunings to create a powerful range of emotions. He has won the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship twice, the only guitarist to ever do so, and has been recording since the late 1980's, with his latest album "Any Colour" released this year.
FRIDAY AUGUST 14 / GENE WEEN / HORSESHOE TAVERN / 370 QUEEN ST W / $25 / 19+
GENE WEEN is best known as half of the cracked-genius musical duo WEEN, whose legendary irreverence and surprising commercial success in the mid-90s garnered them a reputation as one of the strangest bands ever to have a radio hit (1993's Push th' Little Daisies). Recently he has taken up a solo career as The Gene Ween Band, but hopefully we'll hear plenty of bizzarro-pop tunes from classic Ween albums as well.
FRIDAY AUGUST 14 / SUMMERWORKS FESTIVAL: SUNPARLOUR PLAYERS / THEATRE CENTRE / 1087 QUEEN ST W / $10 / ALL AGES
SUNPARLOUR PLAYERS play rootsy indie-folk tunes with a gusto and bluster that have made quite an impression on audiences across Canada, with the multi-instrumental trio's second album "Wave North" released this year to enthusiastic reviews. Their performance as part of the Summerworks Festival will show off the intensity of the group's live show in the Theatre Centre's warm and spacious environment.
FRIDAY AUGUST 14 / THE TWO KOREAS and METZ / SILVER DOLLAR / 486 SPADINA AVE / $6 / 19+
More great Toronto indie-rock from two groups who represent the "non-artist" side of the Toronto music scene, with EYE weekly critics Stuart Berman, Kieran Grant and Jason Anderson making up more than half of TWO KOREAS, while METZ bassist Chris Slorach currently works for Arts & Crafts. Such is the musical talent of Toronto that even those who know the industry inside-out can write creative, artistically ambitious music with all the passion of a teenager discovering catharsis through music for the first time.
FRIDAY AUGUST 14 / GLOBAL GROOVES FESTIVAL: PAVLOV'S DOG'S ORCHESTRA / YONGE-DUNDAS SQUARE / FREE / ALL AGES
PAVLOV'S DOG'S ORCHESTRA are one of the best live bands in Toronto. They're a six-member onslaught of Latin grooves, Russian folk melodies and are bursting-at-the-seams energy, with an anything-goes attitude and an unpretentious party vibe to rival New York gypsy punks Gogol Bordello. PDO's members all originally hail from the USSR, making their presence in downtown Toronto a miracle that can be praised from the dancefloor.
SATURDAY AUGUST 15 / LUKE LALONDE / WHIPPERSNAPPER GALLERY / 587A COLLEGE ST W / $8 / ALL AGES
BORN RUFFIANS frontman LUKE LALONDE takes a step forward as a solo artist under the moniker SKELETON ME, as his band readies their next album. Expect to hear some potential new Ruffians material in this set of mostly acoustic/experimental tunes. With jazzy cabaret singer Allie Hughes and Brooklyn art-rock ensemble Manson Family Picnic opening, the show will definitely bring out a diverse crowd.
SATURDAY AUGUST 15 / THE BREEDERS / LEE'S PALACE / 529 BLOOR ST W / $23.50 / 19+
KIM and KELLY DEAL's band THE BREEDERS have had unexpected longevity, considering the band's genesis in 1988 as an outlet for Kim's creative muse during a period of frustration as bassist of legendary alt-rockers THE PIXIES, with the Breeders eventually outlasting her previous band and becoming one of the 90's most popular female-fronted groups.
SATURDAY AUGUST 15 / SUMMERWORKS FESTIVAL: GERMANS and GREAT BLOOMERS / THEATRE CENTRE / 1087 QUEEN ST W / $10 / ALL AGES
The Summerworks Festival continues to bring together some of the best indie and alternative bands in the city with the inappropriately-named GERMANS (who hail from various neighbourhoods around Toronto) and alt-country group GREAT BLOOMERS, both CBC Radio 3 favourites and fantastic examples of Toronto's growing reputation as a hotbed for cross-pollinating musical collectives.
SATURDAY AUGUST 15 / RAEKWON / SOUND ACADEMY / 11 POLSON ST / $16.50 / 19+
As a founding member of the WU-TANG CLAN, RAEKWON has the dubious distinction of being one of the first rappers to popularize the use of mafia and criminal imagery in his songs, with his first solo album, 1995's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..." standing as a classic blueprint for rappers like JAY-Z, NAS, and hundreds of other "gangsta" rappers in the late nineties. His talent as a storyteller is undisputed however, and he remains one of the most well-know members of the group.
TUESDAY AUGUST 20 / ZION TRAIN / WRONGBAR / 1279 QUEEN ST W / $20 / 19+
Influential UK dub reggae group ZION TRAIN have been a prominent name on the dub scene since 1992, combining the traditional style of pioneers such as LEE "SCRATCH" PERRY with then-cutting edge electronic sounds borrowed from acid house music. Although inter-band disputes almost led to the breakup of the band in the early 2000's, they continue to tour and record fresh and innovative dub music.
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