november concerts toronto

The top concerts in Toronto November, 2014

The top concerts in Toronto this November have stiff competition - that stiff competition being spending what is known in some circles as Kafka's month (those circles being the bags under my eyes) curled up on a burrito blanket next to the space heater at home. Thankfully, this month local promoters are working overtime to do everything they can to save you from a firey improperly positioned space heater fate.

If the list below doesn't prove that to you, Deerhoof, Pup, Ryan Hemsworth, Petra Glynt, Bob Dylan, Johnny Marr, Thee Oh Sees, Ghostface Killah, Rae Spoon, Gordan Lightfoot and Sloan are among the noteworthy artists also touching down in November. Sarah McLachlan is in town to croon you into a little kitten ball of weepy tear-matted fur, and if you really like to cry there's The Ataris at Lee's (or uh, Slipknot). See our dance preview for A Tribe Called Red and more. I'm not going to touch the Amanda Palmer appearance.

Before we start I have to say, Toronto, your Halloween missed connections are a let down, and you're not going to land a date if you can't even spell Twin Peaks.

Here are the November's must-see concerts in Toronto.

Tanya Tagaq - November 6 - The Great Hall
The winner of the 2014 Polaris Prize is in Toronto on Thursday. If you haven't seen Tagaq perform, you are not a good listener, or you have trust issues, because I'm guessing someone has told you to check her out. Watch below knowing that her genre and tradition bending music is infinitely more impressive in person.

Mac Demarco - November 6 - Danforth Music Hall
Two Polaris nominees in one night? That's Toronto. All I remember about Demarco's Polaris Prize performance is coveralls, which might be a good merch idea for Mac 2015. If you're looking for an indie entertainer with oodles of charm, look no further.

Feast in the East - November 7 - Jam Factory
Do live shows make you hungry? This east end tradition will feature some of Toronto's most beloved garage/stoner groups: Teenanger, The Soupcans, Hooded Fang, and Rotzig (ddmmyyyy) and a "Soylent" dinner by local weirdo Tough Guy Mountain. I'm not sure if I want to eat something Tough Guy Mountain on the off chance it turns my vision into computer pixels, but okay.

Kevin Drumm & Jason Lescalleet, Knurl, Advice - November 9 - Double Double Land
Noise pick of the month is this dream collab between scene lords Kevin Drumm and Jason Lescalleet. Read Tad's description, he knows what he's talking about.

alt-J - November 11 - Kool Haus
Ever since winning the Mercury Prize, indie Brits alt-J have been riding a pretty Awesome Wave (sorry, had to) of success. Despite losing a member - guitarist Gwil Sainsbury - the band's still been releasing tracks with the catchy, harmony-laden hooks that fans are addicted to. When you see them at the Kool Haus, their second album (This Is All Yours) will have dropped, so you'll have twice the familiar jams for sing-alongs. SK

TV On The Radio - November 12 - Phoenix Concert Theatre
They already came through Toronto for Luminato this summer, but the curfew-shortened set was probably enough for neither band or fans, so it's a good thing that TOTR are coming back for round two. Expect high-energy performances of their eclectic indie-rock brew, which they always seem to effortlessly translate to stage despite the complex and multi-layered nature of their songs. The exciting news of new LP Seeds means that you can probably hear a few live previews before it drops the following week. SK

Reykjavik Calling - November 15 - Horseshoe
This year's free (free!) Taste of Iceland concert will feature four acts from indie pop mecca Iceland: Retro Stefson, Young Karin, Hermigervill, and Uni Stefson. LYON (Toronto) is also on the bill.

Not Dead Yet Music Fest - November 22-23
Stuck in the City's hardcore punk festival Not Dead Yet is back and they're pretty impressed with the line up - and have a right to be. Venues S.H.I.B.G.B's, Sneaky Dee's, Nocturne, Hard Luck, The Garrison, Magpie, Soybomb, and more are in for hosting shows for the likes of Forward, Perfect Pussy, Iron Lung, Career Suicide, Destruction Unit, Pleasure Leftists, S.H.I.T., and way more. Naturally the fest offers tons of all-ages options for the wee ones.

Still Boys + Zoo Owl + Bataille Solaire - November 22 - Music Gallery
One of our bands to watch in 2014, solo electronic artist Zoo Owl will make an appearance at the much lauded Music Gallery, along with Still Boys, a local project where performance art and music meld in a terror-scape you cannot look away from - or stop dancing to.

Caribou - November 24 - Danforth Music Hall
Electronic wizard Dan Snaith has put aside his Daphni moniker to refocus on main project Caribou, much to the delight of experimental music fans. New album Our Love is due in October and promises to deliver more innovative genre-fusion with the help of Owen Pallet and Jesse Lanza guesting on tracks. Flanked with a full set of live musicians, Caribou's live shows are always a flurry of instruments, lights, projections, and dance-worthy beats, so it'll definitely be worth your while. SK

Run the Jewels - November 26 - Danforth Music Hall
El-P and Killer Mike's tag team project Run The Jewels delivers thought provoking hip hop in a context where a cuddly, cat-focused Meow the Jewels side scheme is totally acceptable. Cat lovers and hip hop fans: the venn diagram. (I can't confirm if the rappers will be performing as or with cats.)

Skinny Puppy - November 28 - Sound Academy
No, they're not from Toronto so they didn't make our goth band list, but these legends of industrial music have strong ties to the city's darkling community, and the Sound Academy show is sure to be a who's who of people who still keep studded jackets in their fall repertoire and who really nail down the complaining about Sound Academy thing, since complaining is like, their thing. Our thing.

Blonde Redhead - November 29 - Horseshoe Tavern
What are Blonde Redhead up to lately? Hint: being as amazing live as ever (oh, and a new album). It's positively magical that they're playing the relatively tiny Horseshoe venue.

See also

Contributions by Shazia Khan

Photo by Matt Forsythe

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