There are only a few weeks in the year where I willingly forego sleep and Canadian Music Week is one of them. Being an extreme workaholic, my body has been fine tuned to run for days on short naps and liquid black gold. Perfect prep as I spend the week traversing the city until the wee hours of the morning, savouring the music of emerging Canadian bands.
Here are my picks for this year’s festival!
Wednesday, March 10
Lee’s Palace, The Bonfire Ball- Must see: Jason Collett , and Zeus. Doors Open 8:30
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Jason Collett so I’m looking forward to hearing songs from his new release Rat a Tat Tat, and hopefully songs from previous albums. I’ve heard that he doesn’t play songs from earlier releases, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Also excited about hearing Toronto based, Zeus, featured in this past week’s issue of NOW
Other notable mentions: Painted Lady: The Wilderness of Manitoba (10:00pm), and Australia’s Dead Letter Chorus (11:00pm)
Thursday, March 11
El Mocambo, Audio Blood Showcase- Must see: We Are The City (10:00pm)
Silver Dollar, NeXT-at-CMW- Must see: Still Life Still (11:00pm), The Ghost is Dancing (1:00am)
Thank goodness The El Mo and Silver Dollar are within yards of each other—it gives me a chance to run from one venue to the other. First to catch We Are The City and soak in their melodic, wistful songs and then make it in time for the guitar, drum and synth infused music of Still Life Still. Night capped off with The Ghost is Dancing and their indie pop rock.
Other notable mentions: Sneaky Dee’s, The MuseBox Showcase: Language-Arts (9:00pm), Everything All The Time (11:00pm), and Parlovr(12:00am)
Friday, March 12
There are too many bands on Friday night which I’d recommend…
If you’re in the mood to stay at one place:
Lee’s Palace, Billions Showcase- Must see: Winter Gloves (9:00pm), The Russian Futurists (10:00pm), …, Plants and Animals (12:00am), and Think About Life (1:00AM)
You better be ready to dance to Montreal’s Plants and Animals, and Think About Life. Or Else. Sure bet that every last ounce of energy will be squeezed out on the dance floor. Both bands hit SXSW before embarking on their North American tours.
If you’re in the mood to run all over the city:
Central, Factor Breakthrough Sessions- The Mountains and The Trees (12:00am) [woot woot Newfoundland! Shameless plug for the Mudderland]
The Drake Underground, Paquin Entertainment- Brasstronaut (11:00pm)
El Mocambo, Sirius Salutes Quebec- Handsome Furs(1:00am). Note, Parlovr at 11, and Winter Gloves at 12
Horseshoe Tavern, CHARTattack Showcase- Bend Sinister (8:30pm), and The Dudes (9:20pm)
Saturday, March 13
Mod Club Theatre, Sirius Songwriters Café- Joel Plaskett (7:30pm)
I’m embarrassed to say the number of times I’ve see Joel Plaskett perform. So I won’t tell you. But what I will tell you is that I once met him, regrettably gushed over him (shut up, I was young!!), and in the end told him he had jerk spice stuck in his teeth. He is a perennial favourite of mine, and you should definitely check him out. I hope it’s an acoustic set.
After his set I plan to jet over to the Indie Awards and check out the stellar line up scheduled this year. Key acts include: Plants and Animals, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Great Lake Swimmers, and the Constantines.
Sunday, March 14
If I’m still alive by Sunday, I plan on checking out Parlovr, Young Rival and Toronto based, Born Ruffians at the Phoenix!