Hot Ticket: Canadian Music Fest, Michou, Land of Talk, Young Galaxy, Zeus, Still Life Still, Austra, Esben & the Witch, J Mascis, Kurt Vile, Janelle Monae, Shad, Hollerado, Bright Eyes and more
Live music picks for WEDNESDAY MARCH 9 through TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2011.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 9 / CMF: MICHOU / EL MOCAMBO / 464 SPADINA AVE / $15 / 19+
The Canadian Music Fest begins this week. You can purchase individual tickets to any showcase or buy a five-day wristband - while they last - that gives you access to over eight-hundred bands and artists in any of the fifty-five venues for five days. For the first night, catch Verge Artist of the Year Award winners Michou at El Mocambo. The band's lighthearted, whimsical style along with front-man Michael Hargreaves' falsetto - vocals have drawn similarities to Ben Gibbard and his bands The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie. Michou's 2010 record Cardona was an instant hit, but the multi-instrumental band from Windsor, Ontario are also known to throw a good show, filling venues even as an opening act.
THURSDAY MARCH 10 / CMF: LAND OF TALK, YOUNG GALAXY, ZEUS & STILL LIFE STILL / VARIOUS / $16-18 / 19+
It's going to be a busy Thursday night in Toronto. To help you out a little, here's a head-start on who you might want to see: Montreal's Land of Talk and Young Galaxy take the stage for CMF showcases at the Opera House and Lee's Palace, respectively. But if you prefer to support local bands, catch Verge Album of the Year Award-winners Zeus (Say Us) and their Arts & Crafts compatriots Still Life Still at Horseshoe Tavern.
THURSDAY MARCH 10 / AUSTRA / WRONGBAR / 1279 QUEEN ST W / $10 / 19+
After releasing her 2008 LP Join Us, Toronto keyboardist and goth-pop musician Katie Stelmanis returns with a new project Austra. Stelmanis' former band mate Maya Postepski (TRUST) and Dorian Wolf join her in the new project, while Montreal's Damian Taylor (Bjรถrk, Robyn) helps her produce the album. Austra's LP Feel It Break is due out May 17th. You can stream and download their single "The Beat and the Pulse" for free on Pitchfork, and be sure to head out to Wrongbar on Thursday night to catch her live.
FRIDAY MARCH 11 / CMF: ESBEN & THE WITCH, J MASCIS / VARIOUS / $15-30 / 19+
English indie-rockers Esben & the Witch are on the rise following the release of their EP 33 and their debut LP Violet Cries on Matador Records. Listen to their haunting single "Marching Song" over on Faded Glamour and check them out live at Wrongbar. But if Esben & the Witch is not your cup of tea, I would suggest running over to Great Hall, where J Mascis and Kurt Vile will be rocking out - get your tickets fast!
SATURDAY MARCH 12 / CMF: THE INDIES FEAT. JANELLE MONAE, SHAD, HOLLERADO / THE FAIRMONT ROYAL YORK / 100 FRONT ST W / $30 / ALL AGES
Head to The Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Saturday, where Janelle Monae, Shad, Hollerado and Hannah Georgas headline The 11th Annual Independent Music Awards (The Indies), closing the party of CMF week. I was lucky to see Janelle Monae - the five-foot firecracker - bring her James Brown-esque all-or-nothing performance last year when she, opened for Arcade Fire at Olympic Island. The Indies Solo Artist of the Year nominees Shad and Hannah Georgas will both perform, along with Hollerado who are also up for a couple of awards.
SUNDAY MARCH 13 / BRIGHT EYES / SOUND ACADEMY / 11 POLSON ST / $36 / ALL AGES
After four years since the band's last album was released, and two years performing as a solo act, frontman Conor Oberst returns with his band Bright Eyes to the Sound Academy. The indie band released their seventh LP The People's Key last month. Joining them is Omaha's folk-county collective The Mynabirds.
For more music listings, head on over to our events calendar.
Lead photo of Michou by Michou.
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