UPDATE: This contest is now closed, the winner has been notified by email.

Take a chance on Givers. This fine quintet from Lafayette, Louisiana began with long-standing friendships predicated on their musical inclinations dating back to high school, but through the years had never managed to share a stage or studio together. When a last minute cancellation at a friend’s gig created a slot for an opener, the group took a chance and hopped on stage for a completely improvised first set together. The chemistry was insane, and after a few months of playing and recording together, indie deities Dirty Projectors took a chance on them bringing the band on tour in the Fall of 2009. This proved to be the break they needed, as Givers went from obscurity to appearing on several “bands to watch” lists all over this very internet in early 2010. The buzz is going strong as Givers released their debut album In Light this week.

So join the good company of Givers, Dirty Projectors, the Internet, and myself in taking a chance on these guys. Courtesy of Embrace, we’ve got two tickets for you to see Givers in Toronto at their show with Pepper Rabbit and 1, 2, 3 at the Garrison on Tuesday, June 21. More info here. To enter to win, email contests@cavacool.com with “Up Up Up” in the subject line and your full name somewhere in the body. Contest closes Friday, June 17 at midnight.

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— , June 8, 2011    1 Comment

UPDATE: This contest is now closed, the winner has been notified by email.

With their first single – the brooding, electronic ‘Beat and the Pulse’ – slowly building steam and debut album Feel It Break set to be released by Paper Bag Records on May 17, Austra have quickly become one of the most promising new Canadian acts of 2011. It’s difficult not to get excited as singer Katie Stelmanis’ detached vocals recall the Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson and haunt listeners with the same intensity. After Young Galaxy did an about face on their latest album with the help of Studio mastermind Dan Lissvik, and our recent obsession with interviewing Swedish bands, it’s no secret that a growing Scandinavian influence in Canadian music would be a more than welcome treat.

Courtesy of Embrace, we’ve got two tickets for you to see Austra in Toronto at their Canadian Music Week showcase on Thursday, March 10 at Wrongbar with support from Metz, Monolithium, Little Girls, and a few others. More info here. To enter to win, email contests@cavacool.com with “Beat and the Pulse” in the subject line and your full name somewhere in the body. Contest closes Monday, March 7 at midnight.

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— , March 1, 2011    1 Comment

Photograph by Matt Jacoby

UPDATE: This contest is now closed, the winner has been notified by email.

The Morning Benders have a knack for beautiful symphonic arrangements. Christopher Chu’s voice rings with elegance atop bellowing drums and swelling guitars. Their album, Big Echo, sounds energetic and eager, and with an eleven day production time, breathes a sense of urgency. The quartet harmonizes like a folk band and resonates like a baroque ensemble. The Morning Benders possess a versatility that embraces jangly psychedelia and indie pop sensibilities. The result is a surge of unavoidable exuberance and graceful instrumentation.

On Friday, November 5, the Morning Benders will be joined by Twin Sister and Oberhofer at Toronto’s Mod Club. If their debut record was any indication, the Morning Benders are apt to hit the city with a big sound and an even bigger echo. Ca Va Cool has a pair of tickets to give away for the show, courtesy of Collective Concerts. To win, send an email with “Big Sound Big Echo” in the subject line and your full name in the body to contests@cavacool.com. This contest closes this Wednesday, November 3 at midnight.

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— , October 31, 2010    Comments Off on The Morning Benders: The Mod Club

UPDATE: This contest is now closed, the winner has been notified by email.

Given the string of classic albums that Teenage Fanclub released in the ‘90s, including personal favourites Bandwagonesque, Grand Prix, and Songs from Northern Britain, I was recently surprised to hear that the band’s current tour would be making its Toronto stop at the relatively small Horseshoe Tavern. Not to knock the Horseshoe, where I’ve enjoyed a great many concerts, but could a venue of this size possibly do justice to the enormous chiming guitars and layered vocal harmonies of the Scottish power pop heroes? Honestly, have Toronto music fans forgotten the band whose debut album was chosen by the then-reputable Spin magazine above Nirvana’s Nevermind as their best album of 1991? Obviously, I was quite distressed.

Since that announcement, and with the help of Teenage Fanclub’s new album, Shadows, I’ve calmed down substantially. It’s just something about the perfect pop melodies which the band has thankfully never felt the need to stray from, which forces listeners to abandon any negative feelings they may be harbouring. Lead track ‘Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything’ and first single ‘Baby Lee’ remain as charming, effortless, and just plain pleasant as older tracks, such as ‘The Concept’ and ‘Start Again’. In a more positive state of mind, I realize that seeing Teenage Fanclub in such an intimate setting is actually a dream. To misappropriate a Ginger Rogers quote, “there are no small venues, only small bands.” And Teenage Fanclub are no small band.

Courtesy of Collective Concerts, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to see Teenage Fanclub rock the Horseshoe Tavern next Wednesday, September 22. To enter, email contests@cavacool.com with “Teenage Fanclub” in the subject line and your full name somewhere in the body. This contest closes Monday, September 20 at 10pm.

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— , September 16, 2010    1 Comment

Photograph by Dave MacIntyre

UPDATE: This contest is now closed, the winners have been notified by email.

Few bands are capable of inspiring a rabid fervor in their fanbase like Arcade Fire. It’s hard to believe that we’ve only known about The Suburbs for about two months, with almost daily news, tracks and tour dates coming from a band that has largely been inactive since the Neon Bible tour. With the album released yesterday, what better way to celebrate than by grabbing some tickets to one of Arcade Fire’s storied live shows? Courtesy of the fine folks at Collective Concerts, we’re giving away three pairs of passes to Arcade Fire’s Toronto show on Olympic Island on Saturday, August 14. With The Sadies and Janelle Monáe opening, it’s certainly a unique bill. To enter, send an email with “Now I’m ready to start” in the subject line to contests@cavacool.com and include your full name in the body. This contest closes Wednesday, August 11 at midnight. Note that these passes do not include the ferry fee, so make sure to grab some ferry tickets so you don’t miss the boat.

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— , August 3, 2010    3 Comments