Photograph by Gemma Harris

Canadian Music Week isn’t quite as big as NXNE, but this year’s edition boasted a few must-see shows each night, even with notable cancellations like Childish Gambino. Though my initial intent was to just see Wintersleep for the first time in a couple years, winning a wristband made me decide to get to Toronto a day early to get some use out of it.

The prime event for Friday night was, of course, the Arts&Crafts showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern, featuring the new ex-Stills/Broken Social Scene project Eight and a Half, The Darcys, Zeus, and others. As good as that line-up looked, it also meant the wristband line-up stretched out to Spadina, so unless you were there early or had a ticket, you were out of luck.

So instead, it was off to Lee’s Palace to catch Cloud Nothings. Attack on Memory is one of the more hyped releases this year, and the band performed it in its entirety. Opening with ‘Stay Useless’, ‘Fall In’, and ‘Cut You’, they quickly got my three favourite songs out of the way, and I was left to absorb the rest of the set. Little to no banter occurred between songs, and the riffs started to blend together towards the end. I was hoping for something more, but the crowd seemed to approve.

Saturday began with catching a bit of Little Foot Long Foot’s in-store set at Sonic Boom’s new location in Honest Ed’s. Not having been in the city since the Dollarama announcement, I was impressed with the new space, as well as the vinyl specialty store in Kensington Market. Sadly, I realized too late that Zeus was doing an in-store performance later in the day, and will have to settle for seeing them in London in a few weeks.

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— , March 30, 2012    Comments Off on Canadian Music Week 2012

Plants & Animals

I just checked out Montreal’s Plants & Animals this weekend at the Wolfe Island Music Festival and couldn’t have been more pleased. A bit Wolf Parade, a bit Apostle of Hustle, but undeniably their own, Plants & Animals is definitely becoming one of Canada’s indie bands to watch. They released their debut album on Secret City Records this February, which was announced in July as one of the contenders for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize.

Plants & Animals – Bye Bye Bye
Plants & Animals – Good Friend

The winner of Polaris will be announced on September 29. The 2008 shortlist is as follows:

I’m rooting for Two Hours Traffic because they’re pretty much my favourite Canadian band right now, their album rules, and they’re the underdog. Any other favourites?

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— , August 15, 2008    2 Comments

The first ever Ca Va Cool mix includes some highlights from the writers’ favourite albums, EPs, and singles of 2007. Pretty representative of what was important this year in indie pop, rock, and dance (indie being a sound, attitude, and aesthetic, rather than commercial means). This was a team effort, and you know what they say about herd mentality: it’s never wrong.

01. Spoon – The Underdog
02. Shout Out Louds – Tonight I Have to Leave It
03. Tokyo Police Club – Box
04. The Teenagers – Homecoming
05. The Shins – Australia
06. Radiohead – House of Cards
07. Basia Bulat – I Was a Daughter
08. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
09. The New Pornographers – My Right Versus Yours
10. Panda Bear – Comfy in Nautica
11. The National – Slow Show
12. Miracle Fortress – Maybe Lately
13. Two Hours Traffic – Stuck for the Summer
14. LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
15. Jens Lekman – The Opposite of Hallelujah
16. Handsome Furs – Handsome Furs Hate This City
17. Feist – Past in Present
18. Justice – D.A.N.C.E.
19. Stars – Window Bird
20. The Cribs – Moving Pictures
21. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Satan Said Dance
22. Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
23. Band of Horses – Is There a Ghost
24. Arcade Fire – The Well and the Lighthouse
25. Au Revoir Simone – Sad Song

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— , December 25, 2007    4 Comments