This week features a pretty packed schedule of excellent shows for your club-hopping pleasure, all no doubt hoping to take a bite out of the back-to-school entertainment budget of returning students. One of the most anticipated of which is the arrival of Sufjan Stevens and his band of Illinoisemakers, at Trinity-St Paul’s Centre on Saturday September 10 with their tribute to the Prairie State.
The second entry in his ambitious plan to salute all fifty States in the Union, Illinois is a genre-hopping musical extravaganza of ridiculous ambition and beauty. Reports from a series of shows in New York City late last month made promises of gaudy costumes and theatricality to make the visuals and entertaining as the music. Anyone who was at his show in November of last year will remember the Michigan scout troupe outfits and swan costumes (for his Michigan and Seven Swans material, respectively) – expect more of the same. Combine all this with a perfect venue in Trinty-St Paul’s, and excellent opening act in Seattle singer-songwriter Laura Veirs (who just released the superb Year Of Meteors) and you know this will be one of the musical highlights of the year. Alas, the show is completely sold out so if you snoozed, well you know the rest.
But fret not, the next seven days still have a myriad of musical marvelousness for your entertainment pleasure!
Thursday, September 8:
The indie kids will swoon at the Gladstone when Xiu Xiu performs alongside Frog Eyes and Das Yellow Swans ($10). Those seeking some groove can catch Breakestra at Lee’s Palace ($18.50) or Esthero at The Guvernment ($24.50). And finally, Hedley try to find out just how far being on Canadian Idol can get you – answer? At least as far as the Mod Club ($15).
Friday, September 9:
Lots and lots of local talent plying their trade this evening – Cuff The Duke hold a CD release party for their self-titled sophomore effort at Lee’s Palace with Jon-Rae & The River and The Meligrove Band ($10) while Winnipeg’s Novillero (not local, I know) throw a party for no particular reason at the Rivoli ($6). The Parkas and The Ghost Is Dancing are invited, and so are you! Pitter Patter nights at O’Grady’s has The Airfields ($PWYC), The Gardens Faithful are at the El Mocambo downstairs ($5) and The Russian Futurists play the Drake with Sunriser and Montreal’s Pawa Up First as part of some sort of Film Festival event. Non-celebrities are allowed in for $10, but you have to be beautiful.
Saturday, September 10:
Just in time for back to school, From Fiction serve up a slice of math-rock madness at the Gladstone ($8). Noo Yawk’s Stellastarr* are at the Horseshoe with Magneta Lane ($10.50) while things get quintessentially Canadaian with The Rheostatics at the Mod Club ($15).
Sunday, September 11:
Did you know Nazareth was from Scotland? Or that they were even still around? Well they are and they are and they’re at Lee’s Palace ($29.50). Show up, rock out and have a little hair of the dog for Monday morning. Or hit Wavelength to see ex-Local Rabbit Ben Gunning or ex-Thrush Hermit Rob Benvie’s new project Free School ($PWYC).
Monday, September 12:
Superchunker Mac McCaughan now rocks out in Portastatic and will be at Lee’s Palace with Tenement Halls to promote their excellent new Bright Ideas ($9). Mercury Prize losers Bloc Party try to save face by playing a sold out show at the Docks with The Kills and The Noisettes ($21.50) and some outfit called U2 settle in for a sold-out four-night stand at the Air Canada Centre ($50.75-$176.50).
Tuesday, September 13:
Blackalicious gets funky at the Mod Club ($22.50), The Used and Alexisonfire get screamy at Arrow Hall ($34.50).
Wednesday, September 14:
The Proclaimers are at Lee’s Palace ($25). No, there will be no lame jokes about walking 500 miles. None. Yellowcard, who are a lame joke unto themselves, are at the Phoenix with Moneen and Rufio ($25) and stoner-rock champs Nebula are at the Horseshoe with Honky and Crackpuppy ($10). Make a lame joke about them and they’ll probably hurt you. Bad.
I will be away for the next couple weeks, so I leave the Torontoist week in shows in the capable hands of TOist editor Josh. He won’t steer you wrong.