Canadian Music Week 2011

Canadian Music Week 2011 Preview

Canadian Music Week is right-around-the-corner. This year, the annual music industry event brings with it over eight hundred artists performing at fifty-five venues over the course of five nights. Suffice to say, given the metrics of this year's event, it can be a bit difficult to decide on what's actually worth attending. Thankfully, I got you covered. For each of the five nights, I've picked what I thought were the two or three most promising concerts -- of course, if you plan on attending the festival, make sure to check out the schedule for yourself. Moreover, as with many festivals of this type, you can buy a wristband which grants you access to multiple concerts and venues -- everything you need to know about getting a wristband is located here -- however, there are some limitations to these wristbands and, where applicable, I've gone ahead and made note of those limitations.

Here are my picks:


Cardinal Chase, Michou, Eric Hutchinson, Behind Sapphire and To Tell at The El Mocambo. Doors open: 8:00 PM.
I was certainly surprised when Michou won "Artist of the Year" at this year's Verge Music Awards. It's for this reason that I'm excited to be given opportunity to go and see what the band has on offer and to form my own opinion on them.

Robot Bombshelter, DJ Jedi, DJ Medley, and Kill the Noise @ Cobra Nightclub. Doors open: 10 PM; 4 AM last call.
It's unfortunate that what might turn out to be the after party of CMW happens to be on the first night of the festival. However, that shouldn't stop it from being any less memorable. If my previous visits to Cobra on a Wednesday night are any indication, then the nightclub will be packed with some handsome people -- and a music executive or two. Dance grooves will be provided by Toronto dance-circuit heavyweights DJ Jedi and DJ Medley along with Los Angeles' Kill The Noise.


Hands and Teeth, Paper Lions, Allie Hughes, Behind Sapphire, Wool on Wolves, Hooded Fang and The Elwins at The Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music (near Trinity Bellwoods Park). Doors open: 1:30 PM.
I've never been to or, for that matter, even heard of the Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music, but if their other concerts have lineups even half as good as this one, then I've been sorely missing out on something great. Given the time of this one it might difficult for most people to attend this one, but, for those who do manage to make it to the show, this one should be a treat.

Modern Superstitions, Molly Rankin, Memphis, Still Life Still, Zeus, Rich Aucoin and The Wilderness at The Horseshoe. Doors open: 8:30 PM.
Between Still Life Still, Zeus, Rich Aucoin and The Wilderness this one should be great show; it might also be one of the last opportunities to see a band like Zeus in such an intimate venue. As such, this one is sure to be packed, so it's best to arrive early.

Prussia, Memoryhouse, Young Empires and Yukon Blonde @ The Great Hall. Doors open: 9:15 PM.
I had the opportunity to see Young Empires when they opened for Chromeo in January, but I missed seeing their set by mere minutes and I've regretted it ever since. Thankfully, they're back and playing in the beautiful and stately Great Hall. Along with them come the excellent Yukon Blonde and, from what I've heard of their music, the promising Prussia and Memoryhouse. Hopefully this one gets the attendance it deserves because it would be a shame for people not to hear these bands.


James Vincent McMorrow, Kurt Vile and the Violators and J Mascis @ The Great Hall. Doors open: 9:00 PM. A limited number of wristbands will be honored so arrive early.
Honestly, it's J Mascis. Need I say more?

LA Riots @ The Mod Club Theatre. Doors open: 10:00 PM. A limited numbers of wristbands will be honored so arrive early. 4:00 AM Last call.
I've now had the pleasure of seeing LA Riots spin three times. Each time they've provided memorable tunes to dance the night away with. Note: for those who decide to check out both the Sadies and LA Riots -- the Sadies play the Mod Club earlier in the evening -- know that the staff at the Mod Club will close the venue down after the first show and then reopen it for the second show.


Diemonds, The Zoobombs, Dinosaur Bones and the Russian Futurists @ the Bait Shop. Doors open: 1:30 PM.
Every time I've seen Matthew Hart of the Russian Futurists perform I've been left with a slightly deeper admiration of his music. I'm sure that will be the case again.

Desperate Union, Hannah Georgas, Bombay Bicycle Club, Hollerado, Shad, Janelle Monae @ The Canadian Room (Royal York Hotel). Doors open 7:00 PM.
Artists like Hannah Georgas, Shad and Janelle Monae should be known quantities to most Canadian music fans by now, so I'll skip singing their praises. Instead, I wanted to write about Bombay Bicycle Club. This will be one of the band's first performances in North America. However, in their native UK they're already stars -- they were proclaimed "Best New Band" at the 2010 NME Awards, beating out the likes of The xx, La Roux, and Mumford and Sons. All of this to say that this is probably one of the strongest lineups of the festival.

Photo by Reza Vaziri in the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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