SummerWorks Festival Music Preview

SummerWorks returns for another year this week. And while the focus of the festival is obviously on theatrical performances (see our theatre preview here), there's also a great selection of concerts to see this year, too. Here are my top picks. As always make sure to check out the SummerWorks web site to get a full picture of what's happening.


Raoul and The Big Time, The Elwins, Patty Cake, Modern Superstitions, Light Fires and Choir!Choir!Chour! at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). Doors open at 4:00 PM.

The opening party for SummerWorks goes down in the MOCCA courtyard. Rain or shine, MOCCA always makes for a great event venue and will no doubt be the perfect forum for the Elwins and Modern Superstitions to strut their stuff. Bonus points that the Lakeview Restaurant is doing the catering and better yet that entrance to the party is FREE.


Steven McKay and Hooded Fang at the Lower Ossington Theatre. Doors open at 10:00 PM.

Steven McKay is perhaps best known as the drummer for the Bruce Peninsula; he's also been know to collaborate with Timber Timbre. But it's his solo project that he's bringing to the Lower Ossington Theatre, though he returns with his regular gig almost a week later. McKay is a talented songwriter, able to move effortlessly between being thoughtful and funny with each song. It also helps that he's opening for a great band, Hooded Fang whose critically acclaimed debut album, Album, was long-listed for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. $10.


Oracle - Musical Works in Concert at the Lower Ossington Theatre. Doors open at 10:00 PM

There are two "works in concert" during the ten day festival. The first, which is highlighted here, is on Monday, with the second one on the following day. Oracle is the story of Leigh, a forty year old woman living in Delphi, Indiana. One day, Phoebe, the Oracle of Delphi, is mysteriously transported into Leigh's life and begins to turn it upside down. For those who would like to see something different this will likely be worth checking out. $15.


Jennifer Castle and Bruce Peninsula at the Lower Ossington Theatre. Doors open at 10:00 PM.

Toronto's other big collective of talented musicians, Bruce Pennisula, returns to play their first concert since Neil Haverty, the band's vocalist and guitarist, underwent cancer treatment. It's conceivable that to mark the occasion the band's already large choir might expand to include some special guests. This is, after all, a choir section that once included Katie Stelmanis and Casey Mecija from Austra and Ohbijou, respectively. Jennifer Caste, too, shouldn't be overlooked. I checked out one of her shows at NXNE and she didn't disappoint.

DJ Dylan Barlow & Shit LA Merde at MOCCA. Doors open at 7:00 PM.

David Binette, aka Shit La Merde, teams up yet again with Dylan Barlow to throw this midweek party -- the two share resident DJ duties at Sweaty Betty's. Both are known for playing an eclectic collection of songs during their sets, so there should be something here for everyone. Like the opening party, entry is free.

For more live music at SummerWorks check out the full schedule online. See also our Call & Response with Bonjay who are playing SummerWorks on August 6th.

Photo of Hooded Fang by Fermata Daily in the blogTO Flickr pool

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