CMWist: Thursday Preview

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CMWist: Thursday Preview

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Photo of Les Breastfeeders from lesbreastfeeders.ca
Starting tonight, Canadian Music Week goes full-fledged—coming to every lounge, parlour, house, and palace near you. With nearly thirty gigs tonight, each showcasing three to seven acts (we’ll let you do the math), Torontoist has done the homework to help you narrow your overwhelming night down. But don’t give us too much extra credit; we did have to ask for a little help from the CMW stars themselves. From today on, we’ll be featuring our handy-dandy CMW questionnaire with some of the bands performing over the week. Today’s participants: Sloan and The Acorn.

The Big Ticket

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Photo of Sloan from sloanmusic.com
Sloan, the omnipresent Canadian rock quartet, takes the stage at the Supermarket tonight at 12:20 a.m., following three-piece rockers Meligrove Band, girl new-wavers Pony Da Look, and friendly folksters Will Currie and the Country French. We spoke to Sloan’s guitarist Jay Ferguson and bassist Chris Murphy—here’s what they had to say.
Describe you and your sound.
Jay: Sloan. Sounds Sloan-ish.
Chris: Extremely well known/ubiquitous. How dare you ask?
What other shows are you gonna catch at CMW?
Jay: Would like to see my friend from Halifax Rich Aucoin play at the Cameron House…but he’s playing same time as us…if you can’t get in to our show, go to his.
Chris: I’ll be catching a plane to Mexico the day after our show.
How do you pick what songs to play for a shorter set?
Jay: I was hoping, since we are playing a smaller place and likely to some hardcore fans, it would be a fun opportunity to dig out some songs we rarely play. So it’ll probably be a combo of new songs from our next LP, less played tracks and some tried and true ye olde hits.
Chris: It depends on the show. If we’re playing a higher paying show at a city sponsored event where the audience is not necessarily made up of hardcore Sloan fans but rather people/families from that town coming to a public event, we play our most recognizable songs. If we are playing a low paying fun show for dedicated fans like the Supermarket show, we rehearse new songs and rare gems.
What are you working on now?
Jay: LP #9 due out in early June.
Chris: The set list to our short set at the Supermarket and we just finished our 9th album.
What’s your favorite song right now?
Jay: “Surprising Me” by Will Currie & The Country French or “Station To Station” by David Bowie….I really can’t decide.
Chris: “Wishstick” by Pony Da Look
What’s your favorite place to play in Toronto?
Jay: Hopefully, Supermarket.
Chris: Club Shanghai. I hope nothing ever happens to that place.
Whether you can’t make it out to tonight’s show, or can’t get enough of Sloan, you can always listen to their latest full album online.

The Up-and-Comers

Les Breastfeeders are playing with The Besnard Lakes (who we’ll hear more from on Saturday), Karkwa, Chocolat, and Creature in a “Bloc du Rock” French feature at El Mocambo tonight. Creature kicks off le spectacle at 9 p.m.
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Photo of The Acorn from Jeff Debutte
Over on Queen Street, New Pornographers niece Kathryn Calder and her trio Immaculate Machine are joined by Dog Day, Katie Stelmanis, Plants & Animals, The Acorn, the Sunparlour Players, and Oh No Forest Fire (phew!). The show starts at the Horseshoe Tavern at 8:30 p.m. In the meantime, Jeff Debutte of The Acorn had a few nutty things to say.
Describe you and your sound.
We are 5 human males and one female (also human) ranging in height from 5’3″ to 6’1″. We travel merrily along in our big white beluga whale van through snow and rain, day and night, bringing our music to people that may or may not want to hear it. We enjoy fine food and drink and prefer to rise later in the morning due to festive evenings and general lethargy. We sound like folk is dating indie rock’s younger goth sister, a cheerleader and mathlete.
What other shows are you gonna catch at CMW?
None, unfortunately! We’re coming in from Ottawa the day of and need to leave for Chicago the next morning on our way down to Austin for SXSW. Thankfully, the showcase we’re playing has some amazing bands and friends that we’d want to see otherwise: Katie Stelmanis, Plants and Animals, and Sun Parlour Players [10:10 p.m., 11:10 p.m., and 1:10 a.m. respectively at the Horseshoe Tavern tonight].
How do you pick what songs to play for a shorter set?
We always just kind of play what we feel like playing. The concept is more or less the same regardless of the length of the set: make it tight with a nice flow and have it gain momentum as it goes along.
What are you working on now?
We’re pretty busy getting ready for starting to tour in the US. We just hit NYC last weekend and now we’re heading off to SXSW before doing a longer east-coast US tour in April. We’re also trying to find a label in the UK/Europe so we can tour over there, pimping out our van, and updating our various internet spaces. Why, should we be writing songs or something?
What’s your favorite song right now?
I have listened to “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac approximately fifteen times in the last several days.
What’s your least favorite part of touring?
It’s a toss up between the lack of privacy and loading gear in and out every night. I guess I’ll go with the privacy thing, since hauling gear at least has the benefit of improving core strength.
Where are you staying while you’re in Toronto?
The couches and beds of various friends and loved ones.

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