Canadian Music Week 2010: Your 3 new favourite bands (Friday)
- March 12, 2010 12:28 PM |
- By Sarah Liss
A video for the song Never Never, by Little Dragon. The Swedish buzz act played for a modest crowd on Thursday night.
Whew! We've reached the halfway point of this year's festivities. From where I'm standing (with aching feet and a tad of tinnitus), the only surprise at CMW/CMF 2010 so far has been the curious dearth of capacity crowds at what I would've pegged as the more heavily hyped shows.
Last night's Windish Agency showcase at Lee's Palace, for example, boasted not one, but three buzz acts: 2010 Mercury Prize winner Speech Debelle, hipster-friendly chillwave stars Neon Indian and Little Dragon, a pleasant electronic pop band from Gothenburg, Sweden who received a shout-out from R&B smooth operator Raphael Saadiq in MOJO Magazine and are featured on the latest Gorillaz album. I arrived midway through Neon Indian's trippy but dullish set and was shocked to discover that the club was barely two-thirds full. To borrow a line from a Kenan Thompson SNL sketch, What up with that?
A less-pleasant surprise: the frequency with which those of us with CMF passes have been turned away at many of this year's showcases. It seems like the 2010 version of the festival includes far more events that are only tenuously connected to CMF/CMW -- i.e. independently produced showcases where the promoters piggyback on festival coverage in exchange for allowing a (very) limited number of badge- and wristband-holders into their shows. CMF benefits from the optics (the program makes it seem like your multi-show pass grants you access to a much better and wider talent pool) and the semi-CMF gigs benefit from additional ink. This is a recurring problem at major music fests, but it seems particularly insidious this year.
Griping aside, the festival still features many excellent acts that deserve your attention. Here are three of them:
Where/When: Drake Underground (1150 Queen St. West), 11 pm. They also play Lee's Palace (529 Bloor St. West) Saturday (March 13) at 1:45 am.
Sounds like: Polyrhythmic, jazz-inflected jams with liberal doses of funk, soul and burnished pop.
Recommended if you like: Peter Gabriel, the Bad Plus, Patrick Watson
Where/When: The Comfort Zone (480 Spadina Ave.), 10:30 and 11:30 pm.
Sounds like: Loose-limbed, punk-damaged blues rock 'n' soul.
Recommended if you like: Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Pack A.D., delta blues
Where/When: El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave.), 11 pm; the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina Ave.), 2 am. They also play the Phoenix (410 Sherbourne St.) on Sunday (March 14) at 8 pm.
Sounds like: High-strung, bouncy alt-pop with jittery riffs and supersaturated major-key melodies.
Recommended if you like: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Wolf Parade, the Meligrove Band
Post your picks for Friday night (and Saturday night, for that matter) in the comments section. And be sure to check out my moment-by-moment updates on Twitter.
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