From March 9 to 13, Torontoist is covering the crap out of Canadian Music Week, with daily concert and film previews, reviews of the latest action, words with your favourite and soon-to-be-favourite bands, and more.
Pick A Piper play Rancho Relaxo at 10 p.m. Photo by Kendall Downey, courtesy of Pick A Piper.
You know what, Thursday? We are so over all of your rain. We’re on to Friday now, bringer of the weekend. Here’s what we think you should see at CMW tonight!
Olenka and the Autumn Lovers: Toronto Institute For the Enjoyment of Music (821 Queen Street West), 4p.m.; and The Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West), 8 p.m.
Will Whitwham of The Wilderness of Manitoba put it well yesterday when asked about bands he’d recommend: “[She’ll] take you on a romantic and thoughtful storytelling journey, through parts of historic eastern Europe that you won’t want to leave, forgetting where you are for the duration of her set.” If you can’t make it to the acoustic afternoon set, you’re in luck: Olenka also kicks off things at the Drake tonight.
Wide Mouth Mason: Sound Academy (11 Polson Street), 10 p.m.
Those who lament the lack of bleached blond tips and oversized Hawaiian shirts in today’s fashions will be happy to hear that two of the three original members of Wide Mouth Mason , the group responsible for the mid-late-’90s hits “Midnight Rain,” “Why,” “Companion (Lay Me Down),” and “This Mourning,” are performing at Sound Academy. Their dress may have changed, but the music will still bring back the urge to cruise on top of a lake in a red convertible or belt out a ballad in front of a stone building in the rain.
Pick A Piper: Rancho Relaxo (300 College Street), 10 p.m.
Like their Hamelin counterpart, Toronto’s Pick A Piper has the same uncanny ability to captivate audiences, but instead of the flute, their weapons of choice are the dual drum-kits of Angus Fraser and Brad Weber (drummer for 2008 Polaris Prize-winner Caribou), along with bandmates Dan Roberts and Clint Scrivener on bass and guitar. Their show at Rancho Relaxo will be one for those with a passion for percussion, with rumours of seven drummers onstage at once.
Random Recipe: El Mocambo (464 Spadina Avenue), 11:30 p.m.
This acoustic, female-fronted hip-hop band is one of our favourite CMW finds ever. From Montreal, their vocals have a decidedly international feel, featuring lyrics in English, French, and Italian performed at a decidedly relaxed, sometimes mournful pace. With lyrics that speak of love, lust, and heartbreak, Random Recipe is simply captivating. They also have tiny guitars. With Buddy McNeil & the Magic Mirrors, Amanita Bloom, Monogrenade, and Les Breastfeeders.
Powers: Comfort Zone (480 Spadina Avenue), 12 a.m.
Shed no tears for The Ghost is Dancing; they’ve simply… evolved. Like Katie Stelmanis, whose new project Austra is garnering lots of buzz, a new name and new direction for the artists formerly known as TGID have reinvigorated them. They’ve lost one member, but added a whole bunch of new tricks as Powers, utilizing samples and more electronic kit to play a set that still inspires dancing—but with a less ramshackle quality. Have a listen to Second Summer and judge for yourself.
Dean Lickyer: Cherry Cola’s Rock n’ Rolla Cabaret and Lounge (200 Bathurst Street), 12 a.m.
If the members of Aerosmith were under 20 and from Hamilton, they would tremble in the shadow of rock gods Dean Lickyer. Named after someone’s dad who introduced them to the sweet sounds of the 1970s, these guys are skilled and badass beyond their years. Their singer wails and flails with the mastery of the ages and is backed by a tight band that will blow your mind, man. With Krissi Moses, Dane Hartsell, Gord Prior, Your Favourite Enemies, and Courage My Love.
Cuff the Duke: The Horseshoe Tavern (368 Queen Street West), 12:20 a.m.
One of our favourite CMW memories is of Cuff The Duke frontman Wayne Petti playing a shredding guitar solo whilst walking the length of a Lee’s Palace bar rail in 2005. The alt-country boys were opening for notoriously ear-splitting Tokyo band Guitar Wolf, and were more than capable of winning over the metalheads in the crowd. Tonight, the resolutely Canadian roots-rockers will play material from their upcoming spring release (produced by their recent tour mate, Blue Rodeo‘s Greg Keelor).
For complete concert listings, the full Canadian Music Fest schedule is right here.
Your picks come courtesy of: Steve Fisher, Carly Maga, and Saira Peesker.