St Vincent

This Week in Music: Neil Young anti-oilsands benefit, Beyonce, NXNE and CMW line ups, Wolfcow

This Week in Music rounds up the latest news, releases and concerts coming to Toronto.

Neil Young to play Honor The Treaties benefit
Just a few weeks from now on January 12, 2014, Neil Young himself will play Massey Hall for a good cause. All proceeds - all of them - go to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Legal Defense Fund for their fight against oilsands developments. Diana Krall will play as well. Similar benefit concerts will also take place in Winnipeg, Regina, and Calgary. As one might expect, this show is already sold out. You can donate directly to Honor the Treaties here.

First list of NXNE performers dropped
The first round of bands playing NXNE have been announced. They are: St. Vincent, Juicy J, Danny Brown, Rhye, Mac Demarco, Speedy Ortiz, Odonis Odonis, Run the Jewels, Omar Soulerman, Courtney Barnett, and Mas Ysa (not to be confused with Toronto's Mas Aya). Festival wise, NXNE wristbands are on-sale right now - and for cheap. From December 10-24, there's a special two-for-one wristband deal. That's right, $75 gets you and a friend into the city's biggest music fest. Even if the line up of headliners doesn't improve by that much, it's a pretty good deal.

Free stuff from Dine Alone Records
Dine Alone Records have released their annual "Holiday Sampler" but I'm not going to tell you what's on it, because if I was in one of these bands I'd be embarrassed by the cover's hackneyed attempt at, what, irony? Some guy from Cancer Bats is "gangster pimp Santa" right, enjoy looking totally lazy and irrelevant. It's free and there's a prize pack, so it has that going for it. Next week in music: ideas - are people running out of them?

CMW shares showcase performers list
In other meh Toronto music news, some showcase performers have been announced for CMW including a band called Slut which from the thumbnail looks to be all dudes. Great. There's also a guy called Jaimie Stewart, which is just confusing - Jaimie, please, change your name. Toronto's Rich Kidd and Wilderness of Manitoba are playing, plus I'm sure some of these rando bands are good. Check them out on CMW's website, where you'll also find info about other programming plans.

Hot ticket concerts

Beyoncé / December 16 / 7pm / Air Canada Centre (40 Bay St) / $63.25-$268.25
We all knew that she was actually a magical being from outer space sent to save the world (or at least make it more fab), but Beyoncé dropping a self titled album on iTunes featuring everything from tender confessions about motherhood to sexy bangers to (hurray!) Drake appearances kind of sealed the deal. You can almost feel the concrete pulsing in anticipation today. Tickets are sold out, but you can still close your eyes and imagine.

The Little Match Girl Passion / December 20 / The Music Gallery (St George the Martyr Church, 197 John Street) / 8pm / $20
David Dacks of the Music Gallery is called this post classical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic Christmas Story "the feel-bad Xmas show of the year" - and to be honest that's all I need to hear. David Lang's Pulitzer Prizewinning The Little Match Girl Passion will be curator Gregory Oh's final show at the Music Gallery, and apparently he wants to leave a trail of misery in his wake, right in time for the holidays. Singers will accompany themselves on percussion. An excerpt is below, or you can hear a longer fragment of the Little Match Girl crying for help here.

Local Hot Ticket

Wolfcow + Alpha Strategy / December 22 / 9pm / Handlebar (159 Augusta Ave) / PWYC
You know what's nice? A messy noise show on a Sunday night. At Handlebar this weekend you can see the weirdness that is Toronto's Wolfcow, Alpha Strategy, and New Horizzzons, plus Montreal artist Yàocavé. It'll be a good time to chill and hear some strange sounds before heading to the fam's for carols and non-ironic sweaters, if that's what you have planned for next week (personally I'm looking for someone to watch Rosemary's Baby with, but to each her own).

Recently Announced Concerts

What we got up to this week

Photo of St. Vincent by Bruce Emberley

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