Yesterday was kind of a soft launch. Tonight, Canadian Music Week starts for real.
Not sure where to go for CMW? Don’t worry. We have you covered.
Loomis is best known for his guitar wizardry in the progressive power-metal band Nevermore, where he reigned as lead guitarist for 20 years. But, since 2005, he has enjoyed a successful career on his own, resulting in two solo records. He’s currently writing a third, with Portland-based studio guitarist Keith Merrow.
This show should provide Loomis with the perfect opportunity to showcase some new material, as well as some songs from 2012’s Plains of Oblivion. He plays a seven-string guitar and is known for his intricate style, making tonight’s performance enticing for gearheads and technique junkies alike.
If seven-string gymnastics are your bag, this is not to be missed.
Go if: You want to see a genuine guitar gladiator go to work on the strings.
DIANA—also known as Joseph Shabason (saxophonist for Destroyer), Kieran Adams (of Bonjay), and Carmen Elle (of Army Girls)—had a banner 2012. That’s not only because it was the trio’s first year as a full band (Adams and Shabason took their time finding Elle to provide the vocals), but also because they quickly became “Toronto’s next band to watch.” Their ’70s-inspired blend of chilled-out grooves, atmospheric tones, Elle’s soft vocals, and some killer brass is worthy of the hype. Be sure to show up early to the CHVRCHES show tonight at the Mod Club for some excellent homegrown chillwave.
Go if: You haven’t given your shoes a good stare in a while.
If you have the chance to see a legend perform his most critically acclaimed album in its entirety, you jump on it. It’s a no brainer. As a result, we assume everyone will make the annoying trek down to Sound Academy tonight to see Raekwon perform Only Built 4 Cuban Linx from end-to-end. For those of you who are too young to remember, the almost cinematic album has been credited with starting the late-’90s subgenre of Mafioso Rap. It has been hailed as one of the best hip-hop albums of the past 20 years.
Go if: You know all the words to “Incarcerated Scarfaces.”
You won’t have to put much wear on your cowboy boots tonight, because an all-star country lineup at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern means all your down-home tunes are in one place. The Outlaws and Gunslingers Showcase boasts names like Toronto alt-country kings NQ Arbuckle, Americana queen Oh Susanna, acclaimed Latin guitarist Quique Escamilla, Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy, Danny Michel (no intro needed), and Toronto favourite Justin Rutledge, whose album Valleyheart came out last month.
Go if: You want to mix a bit of Americana with the Canadiana of this music week.
Scottish electropop act CHVRCHES is the definition of a buzz band. It hasn’t released anything that even remotely looks like an album. (The group’s debut EP, Recover, isn’t set to drop until next week.) Even so, the British music press is raving. CHVRCHES has received accolades from The Guardian, NME, and Huffington Post UK, and was even compared to Robyn by the BBC.
Go if: You want to see the next big thing.
You could find “harder” rap acts at CMW, make no mistake (check out our hip-hop guide for some of them), but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone more playful and pop-culture savvy than Halifax-to-T-Dot transplant Wordburglar, or veteran Vancouver collective Sweatshop Union. These rappers are serious about their rhymes, but they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Go if: You like your rap more geek-chic than gangsta.
Hip-hop reggae fusionist Chip-Fu kind of peaked in the early ’90s as part of The Fu-Schnickens, who were riding high on the rap charts until someone made the mistake of telling the group to do a hyper-gimmicky single with aspiring rapper Shaquille O’Neal. All that said, Chip-Fu is still a great, genre-bending MC, and he can rap really, really fast.
Go if: You want to hear some rapid-fire rhymes.