Thursday, January 13th, 2011
Janelle Monáe leads additions to Canadian Musicfest 2011
jmonae.comBack in mid-December, I pointed out that the website for the 2011 edition of Canadian Musicfest had gone live with the first batch of showcasing artists for the festival. And while there was enough in that initial list to get my attention, in the last couple of weeks the information available has really ramped up and, methinks, another round-up of acts who will be filling Toronto clubs from March 9 to 13 is in order.
Perhaps most exciting is the return of cyber-soul firecracker Janelle Monáe, though if you were hoping to see her play a conventional headlining show then “frustrating” might be the more accurate word. She made Canadian debut last Summer on Olympic Island as part of the Arcade Fire mini-fest and this time she’s performing as part of the CMW/CMF-associated Indie Awards, the exact mandate of which I’ve never understood. But whatever the reason, Monáe will top a bill that also includes Shad, Hollerado, Bombay Bicycle Club, Hannah Georgas and Desperate Union. Obviously, it’s an awards ceremony as well as a show, but my understanding is that Monáe, at least, will play a full set so the $30 ticket price would still be worth it; a festival wristband will also get you in. The Indies take place in the Canadian Room of the Royal York on March 12.
Other “big” shows that week: Land Of Talk, Hollerado, Cadence Weapon, Isis (ex. Thunderheist) and Little Scream show at the Opera House on March 10 (already reported I know), admission $18 or with a wristband. For those who like dudes with their hair hanging over their faces while they play guitar, the pairing of J Mascis and Kurt Vile at The Great Hall on March 11 is not to be missed – that one’s limited wristbands, advance tickets $27.50. It won’t get roots-rockier than Dawes and Deer Tick to say nothing of their Voltron-like supergroup Middle Brother (which includes Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit), all three of whom will be at the Opera House on March 11, all wristbands accepted or $18.50 for advance tickets.
Also noteworthy and festival-related if not necessarily in my wheelhouse – a Big Sugar reunion at the Sound Academy, Good Charlotte at the Phoenix, Melissa Etheridge at Massey Hall – all on the Friday, March 11 – and the can’t miss (with a rocket launcher, ideally) pairing of Buckcherry and Papa Roach at the Sound Academy on March 12. Something for everyone? And less renowned/reviled but of more interest to me – Brits Esben & The Witch (date/place TBA) and Anna Calvi (Wrongbar, March 11), Australians The Jezebels (Lee’s Palace, March 11) and surely many more that still haven’t been announced – they’re expecting some 800 showcasing bands when all’s said and done and the official artist list is only at around 560. Of course, as always, it’s logistics that will ultimately determine what I end up seeing – the schedule has just started going up and already, I’m seeing some tough choices that are going to have to be made about where to be and when.
I mentioned a little while back that the release of Bruce Peninsula’s second album was on the back burner while frontman Neil Haverty was being treated for acute promyelocytic leukemia; now his friends and bandmates are staging a fundraiser to help mitigate some of the financial burdens of being ill. On January 29, two fundraisers will be held at the Music Gallery – a matinee show with Snowblink, Kith & Kin, The Deep, Steve McKay and Lake Andrew Drowning and an evening show with Timber Timbre, Austra (former BP-er Katie Stelmanis newly signed to Domino) and Evening Hymns. Admission is a $10 suggested donation for the matinee and $20 for the evening show, or if you just want to donate a PayPal account has been set up. More details at the Facebook event.
If Do Make Say Think’s show at the Drake Underground during Boxing Week was too big or expensive for you, take heart – they’ll be going smaller, cheaper (free with canned good) and just as below grade with an in-store at Sonic Boom on February 3.
Halifax’s Jenn Grant will be bringing her shiny new record Honeymoon Punch – which finds her going a little less jazzy and a little more poppy with great results – at the Horseshoe on February 19, advance tickets $15. The National Post and aux.tv have features on Grant, who’s just released a new video from the album.
Video: Jenn Grant – “Getcha Good”
Beatroute has an interviews with Dan Bejar while NOW talks to one of the Toronto-based horn players who’s all over Destroyer’s new record Kaputt. out January 25. They’ll play Lee’s Palace on March 31.
Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham talks to eye about his new gig as veejay of MuchMusic’s back-from-the-dead alternative nation show The Wedge which returns to the air on January 26 at 10PM, and to Chart about the new Fucked Up record David Comes To Life, which could be out as soon as May.
Tags: Anna Calvi, Austra, Broken Social Scene, Dawes, Deep, Deer Tick, Destroyer, Do Make Say Think, Esben & The Witch, Evening Hymns, Feist, Fucked Up, J Mascis, Janelle Monae, Jenn Grant, Jezebels, Kith & Kin, Kurt Vile, Lake Andrew Drowning, Land Of Talk, Middle Brother, Owen Pallett, Rural Alberta Advantage, Snowblink, Steve McKay, Timber Timbre, Tokyo Police Club