Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2009 Canadian Musicfest (Canadian Music Week) picks

Canadian MusicfestThe newly dubbed Canadian Musicfest, the music showcase component of this year's Canadian Music Week kicks off tonight(Mar 11) with a few venues but heads into full gear from Thursday March 12 to Saturday March 14, and then ending like it started with a few select venues on Sunday(Mar 15). I'll likely skip the festivities tonight although perhaps if I get the bug I'll take in some of the Eye Weekly CMW showcase tonight at Gladstone Hotel or maybe check out Scottish indie folk-pop outfit We See Lights at the Horseshoe. I've been perusing the CMF schedule all day and I think I've finally come up with a schedule to my liking. Thursday, I mostly plan to camp out at Gladstone Hotel for the 2nd night of Eye Weekly's 3-way Throwdown with only the slight aberration that I'll likely take in We See Lights' set at Rancho Relaxo at 9 pm. However on Friday and Saturday I switch in to full club-hopping mode - if the TTC transit gods are on my side, I should hopefully make most of my planned schedule. For the life of me, I haven't found anything to my interest to check out at midnight on Friday night - perhaps I'll just swing by the Horseshoe Tavern and see how big of a lineup of people shivering in the cold there is trying to get in to see Handsome Furs. Oh good times. So taking a cue from Chromewaves recent CMF picks, here's mine (note: all the artist hyperlinks below point to their respective MySpace sites so click through and check them out):

Thursday March 12

09 PM - We See Lights @ Rancho Relaxo

Scottish folk-pop outfit. Oh those lovely Scottish accents. "Parachute" is the first single from a debut album that was suppose to have been released recently. I like it.

10 PM - Angela Desveaux & The Mighty Ship @ Gladstone Hotel (North Ballroom)

I've been a fan of Ottawa's Desveaux's melancholy countrified pop-rock since seeing her live back in August 2006 and regrettably haven't seen her since. It's time to remedy that.

11 PM - The Week That Was @ Gladstone Hotel (North Ballroom)

UK outfit which is the brainchild of Field Music's Peter Brewis. A multi-member group who approach a collective level of pop music sophistication, but there's something slightly askew about their sound.

12 AM - Slim Twig @ Gladstone Hotel (North Ballroom)

An amalgam of rockabilly trappings and electro-beats which surprisingly does work. Hometown boy whose debut album "Vernacular Violence" is out on Paper Bag Records.

01 AM - Rural Alberta Advantage @ Gladstone Hotel (North Ballroom)

Toronto indie-rock trio I've been meaning to check out live for a long time. Yes I've heard they're very good. Their debut album "Hometowns" is out now.

Friday March 13

08 PM - Little Scream @ Silver Dollar

Montreal singer-songrwiter who's yet to jump onto the internet bandwagon with her own website or MySpace. Someone from her camp recently e-mailed me and asked if they could use a photo of mine of her (from her show at the Horseshoe opening for Land of Talk earlier this year) for use in future promotional material to which I said alright. She reminds me a little of Cat Power if that's of any value.

09 PM - An Horse @ Tranzac

Australian spunky indie-rock girl/boy duo (Kate Cooper and Damon Fox). Actually the last time I saw Kate Cooper was when her other band Iron On came through town for CMW in 2006 and they were very good. An Horse perform on Late Show With David Letterman tonight. Letterman AND Tranzac in the same week - too weird.

10 PM - The Darling Demaes @ Silver Dollar

Thanks to Chromewaves for pointing out this set. They made Montreal Mirror's list of Noisemakers for 2009. Could be the dark horse favourite of the whole festival for me.

11 PM - Ruth Minnikin and Her Bandwagon @ Holy Joe's

With her sometimes band The Heavy Blinkers currently on hiatus it seems, at least I can get a Minnikin fix, albeit of the folkier, rootsier kind.

12 AM - OPEN

01 AM - Amos The Transparent @ Rancho Relaxo

Like Toronto's RAA, I've made a pledge to check out this Ottawa band that everyone else has raved about.

Saturday March 14

09 PM - Heidi Happy @ The Supermaket

Swiss singer-songwriter whose vocals (at least according to samples off her MySpace) remind me a little of The Cardigans/A Camp's Nina Persson.

10 PM - Whale Tooth @ Sneaky Dee's

Toronto band that make the happiest-sounding pop music I've heard in a long time, although the main attractions is vocalist Elise LeGrow's exhuberant vocals. Also see RAA, and Amos The Transparent above.

11 PM - Dog Day @ Drake Underground

Young, scrappy Haligonian indie pop-rock four-piece. Caught them a couple times during last year's CMW. Wickedly good tunes, though hopefully they have worked on their stage presence.

12 AM - Sprengjuhollin @ Rivoli

Icelandic folk-rock outfit who sing in both Icelandic and English. Their current MySpace tagline is "Icelandic indiepop for the masses".

01 AM - Skibunny @ Central

This Belfast outfit are apparently top remixers and promoters back at home, but have also found time to make their own music. Having sampled some of their electro-poppy tunes over at their MySpace, I'd conclude there is some substance there.

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