Monday, March 3rd, 2008
Photo by Paul Hammond
So while the first shows associated with this year’s edition of Canadian Music Week got started last night with Gogol Bordello at the Sound Academy, the complete takeover of the city’s live music clubs doesn’t really begin until Thursday evening. I like to try and catch as much as I reasonably can, but my CMW participation is always mitigated by trying to conserve some energy for SxSW next week as well the fact that many of the bands playing that I would normally want to see are hardly strangers to Toronto and there will certainly be more opportunities to see them play in the future… but on the other hand, a good show from a good band is a good show from a good band.
My personal schedule is starting to coalesce, largely based on picking one act I really want to see and checking out what else is nearby. I’m not going to get into specifics right now because it could all possibly change, but if I can make it to Sunday and have caught Rebekah Higgs, The Details, Jane Vain & The Dark Matter, Pooma and The Pigeon Detectives, I’ll have considered the week a success.
On a more general level, I’d recommend folks looking for something to see catch Dog Day at one of their many shows – Thursday at 9:20PM at the Horseshoe, Saturday at 11PM at the Rivoli or their free in-store at Criminal Records at 6:40PM on Saturday. It’s true that they’re not the most scintillating live band, but Night Group is such a good record they’re worth your time and attention anyways. Chart has two interviews with the band in advance of their CMW appearances.
Other shows you may want to plan an evening around are Sloan’s Thursday night gig at Supermarket – that’s the little 200-capacity venue in Kensington, so if you don’t have a ticket already you’d best get one now (assuming they’re not all gone) because that’s going to be packed. And if it is, you can always try your luck at The Besnard Lakes’ midnight show at the El Mocambo just down the block. The Horseshoe’s lineups all weekend are all stacked into the wee, wee hours of the night but Thursday is particularly impressive – starting at 8:30, you’ve got Immaculate Machine, the aforementioned Dog Day, Katie Stelmanis, Plants & Animals, The Acorn (Sunparlour Players and if you’re still upright at 2:30AM on a work night, Oh No Forest Fires will make you glad you are. Jenn Grant has two shows, Thursday and Saturday night at the Rivoli, both at 10PM. Heading to the Drake Underground on Friday night will get you the Paper Bag Records showcase with the likes of Laura Barrett and Woodhands. Obviously, that’s only a tiny sampling of what’s on offer this weekend as viewed through my narrow filter. The entertainment weeklies will certainly have a more thorough preview of performers this Thursday. The National Post has their picks for the week up already.
And to add to the list of in-stores I rounded up last week, Criminal Records on Queen West will have Jenny Omnichord and The Burning Hell serenading shoppers on Wednesday, March 6 from 6 to 7 and on Saturday afternoon, Julie Doiron highlights a block of Maritimer performances from Calm Down It’s Monday, Dog Day and The Superfantastics – that starts around 5, Julie on at 5:30. Update: More Criminal Records action – Friday, March 7 from 6 to 8 – Winter Gloves and Plants & Animals.
An in-store that’s not CMW-related but definitely worthy of note is Bon Iver, who will be doing a solo acoustic set at Soundscapes on Wednesday, March 5 at 4PM which is tough noogies to those of us with regular day jobs but a boon to everyone else, especially if you don’t have tickets to his sold out show at Lee’s Palace that night with Black Mountain, with whom BeatRoute has an interview.