live music

4 shows (and a festival) to see in the Ottawa area this week

Bob Log III, Bosveld, New Country Rehab, Dekoder and the first part of Arboretum stand out for Ottawa Morning's Jessa Runciman.

Bob Log III, Bosveld, New Country Rehab, Dekoder and the first part of Arboretum stand out

The motorcycle-helmet-wearing, PG-13 bantering blues-punk musician Bob Log III visits Zaphod's on Thursday. (Bob Log III)

Bob Log III, Hunter, Matt Morel & Catriona Sturton at Zaphod's, Thursday

Where to begin when describing Bob Log III? He's a one-man blues-punk band from Tuscon, Arizona who spends most of his time on tour.

Think delta blues meets futuristic stunt man; a mysterious figure in a full-body human cannonball suit and a motorcycle helmet. A telephone receiver is rigged up to that helmet, so he's able to sing with a tinny voice while drumming with his feet and churning out blues riffs on his old Silvertonearchtop guitar. His isn't just a show — it's a spectacle, complete with audience participation.

If you're near the front of the stage, be prepared for Bob Log III to invite you onto the stage to sit on his lap while he plays. That goes for you men, too. I should mention the audience participation does have a tendency to get a little PG-13, in keeping with the risque humour of the music -— so be warned: this is not a show for the easily offended.

Bob Log III will be joined by Hunter and Matt Morel & Catriona Sturton. 8 p.m., $12.

Bosveld, Faraway Neighbours, Twin Voices, Old Cabin at Raw Sugar Café, Friday

Best to follow up a show like that with something a tad more low-key. For Friday night, might I suggest Raw Sugar Cafe where a stacked bill of local and out-of-town performers will be drawing a crowd.

Bosveld are taking their "future-folk" act across Ontario on their bicycles. ( Isaac Vallentin)

Now, it's one thing to dress like Bob Log III and give the impression of possessing superhuman cannonballing abilities. It's another to actually carry out an impressive feat of athleticism. That brings me to Bosveld, who'll be part of Friday's show.

The duo call their music "future folk," meaning they embellish mainly acoustic songs with samplers and effects, and interludes of reflective ambience. For the past month or so, they've been on a province-wide tour to promote a new album of those songs,Veldbrand  and they've done it on bicycles.

Through all the unpredictable weather we've been complaining about around here, TheanSlabbert (a.k.a. Velodrones) and Jeremy Mulder have been peddling their gear through Oxford Mills, Kingston, Oshawa, Toronto, Hamilton and Peterborough. They're marking their triumphant return to Ottawa with Friday's show, where I'm sure they'll be sporting beefier calves than the ones they left with.

Bosveld will be joined by Faraway Neighbours, Twin Voices and Old Cabin. 8 p.m., $10.

New Country Rehab, Lucky Ron, Mackenzie Rhythym Section at the National Capital Craft Beer Festival, Friday

If you're a beer fan, you're probably already aware of the National Capital Craft Beer Festival this weekend.

Through Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you'll be able to drop by Marion Dewar Plaza and sample local breweries like Broadhead, Big Rig and Beau's — as well as out-of-town brews from Junction, Amsterdam and Flying Monkey, to name a few.

New Country Rehab will be playing for attendees of the National Capital Craft Beer Festival on Friday. (David Leyes)
Now, imagine sampling one of those nice, cold, frothy craft beers while taking in the fiddle-driven fury of alt-country band New Country Rehab who, as their name suggests, have been received as a breath of fresh air by stubborn believers in good, modern country music.

They're one of several bands being showcased at the festival, from The Claytones to Loon Choir. New Country Rehab is part of Friday's musical line-up (the other performers are Lucky Ron and Mackenzie Rhythm Section), and the music gets going at around 5:45 that evening.

Entry costs you $20 at the gate, while it's $35 for a full festival pass.

Dekoder, Thee Nodes, Naughty Girls, Chloroform at Gabba Hey, Saturday

Elsewhere this weekend, Ottawa's punk scene is celebrating the fifth anniversary of Finish What You Started Records, a hardcore label focused on promoting local music and DIY culture.

From Aug. 14 to 17, Finish What You Started's annual festival is pulling out all the stops to make this birthday a memorable one. Shows at House of Targ and Gabba Hey, in addition to house shows, will be showcasing bands from our area and outside it.

Belonging to the latter group is Dekoder — a post-punk band from Montreal that I won't be missing on Saturday night. Urgent guitars and dark chord progressions are this group's signature sound. They're paired with powerful, Siouxsie-style vocals delivering thoughtful lyrics about free will in the face of political and social injustice.

It's intense stuff — and like a lot of things, best experienced in the low-lit, off-the-beaten-track atmosphere of a venue like Gabba Hey in the City Centre.

That's where Dekoder is playing with Thee Nodes, Naughty Girls and Chloroform on Saturday. 9 p.m., $5.

Arboretum starts Monday

And while we're on the topic of festivals, year number three of Arboretum is about to start. This time around, they've expanded the festival to six days and collaborated with a wide group of arts organizations, labels and spaces to set up a varied schedule.

As was the case last year, music isn't the only component of the festival; over its first few days, you'll be able to catch a panel discussion about committing to Ottawa's arts scene, and a night all about a) biking and b) riding those wheels to Hull.

The most exciting part of the Arboretum Music Festival, though, is (obviously) the music.

Kingston's PS I Love You play Wednesday night as part of the six-day Arboretum festival. (CBC Music)

In an effort not to overwhelm you, I'll fill you in on more of the schedule next week, but we'll start with an instrumental tribute to the Beastie Boys at the Manx on Monday, a night of haunting, imaginative songwriting on Tuesday at Le Troquet with Jesse MacCormack and Her Harbour, and a couple of shows on Wednesday that will make decision-making a challenge. Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars are holding things down at St. Alban's alongside Evening Hymns and Bosveld (who you became acquainted with earlier in this column).

Meanwhile, Mavericks will be cranking up the volume a bit with Vancouver's Frog Eyes, Kingston's PS I Love You, and Ottawa's own Tropical Dripps. If you head to that show you'll pay $12 (doors open at 8 p.m.) but I'd recommend paying the $50 for a full festival pass. It'll give you access to Arboretum's outdoor stage, all the venue showcases, and the after party action. 


Thursday, Aug. 14

  • Bob Log III @ Zaphod's w/ Hunter, Matt Morel & Catriona Sturton. 8 p.m., $12.
  • All-Stars Blues Thursdays @ Irene's w/ Genevieve Freynet. 9:30 p.m., free.
  • Linda Marie & The GMC @ The Rainbow. 4 p.m., free.
  • Liquor Store Band @ The Rainbow. 9 p.m., $7.
  • Finish What You Started 5-Year Anniversary Weekend @ House of Targ w/ Dead Weights, Neck, The Valveenus, Fresh Hell. 9 p.m., $5.
  • Thy Art is Murder @ Mavericks w/ Accursed Spawn, Standing on Oblivion, Fumigation, Here Comes Bigfoot. 6 p.m., $15.
  • Muelkik @ Avant-Garde w/ Big Lonely, The Kerouaks. 9 p.m., $5.

Friday, Aug. 15

  • Bosveld, Faraway Neighbours, Twin Voices, Old Cabin @ Raw Sugar Cafe. 8 p.m., $10.
  • National Capital Craft Beer Festival @ Marion Dewar Plaza w/ Lucky Ron, Mackenzie Rhythm Section, New Country Rehab. 5:45 p.m., $20 gate ($35 for a festival pass).
  • Sean Conway Band @ Irene's w/ David Owen. 9:30 p.m., $8.
  • Marc Charron @ 8 Locks Flat. 7 p.m., free.
  • Jordan John @ Black Sheep Inn. 8:30 p.m., $20.
  • The Frank James Experience @ The Rainbow. 4 p.m., free.
  • Bearshark @ The Rainbow w/ Cold Capital, Keturah Johnson. 9:30 p.m., $10.
  • Finish What You Started 5-Year Anniversary Weekend @ House of Targ w/ Bloodnail​ Alement, Hard Charg, After the Fall, IDNS. 9 p.m., $5.
  • Randall Prescott & Tracey Brown @ The Branch. 9 p.m., $20.
  • What's Wrong with Wolfie? @ Zaphod's w/ Marc Vincent, CO3. 8 p.m., $5.

Saturday, Aug. 16

  • Finish What You Started 5-Year Anniversary @ Gabba Hey w/ Dekoder, Thee Nodes, Naughty Girls, Chloroform. 9 p.m., $5.
  • National Capital Craft Beer Festival @ Marion Dewar Plaza w/ Jeremy Murphy, Shannon Rose, The Claytones, Loon Choir, Still Winter Hills, Autumns Cannon. 1 p.m., $20 gate ($35 for a festival pass).
  • Young Running @ Irene's w/ Ken Tizzard. 9:30 p.m., $10.
  • Melanie Brulee Band @ Black Sheep Inn w/ Bella Cat Blues, Dynamite Motel. 8:30 p.m., $10.
  • Fortunate Soul @ The Rainbow. 4 p.m., free.
  • BlakDenim @ The Rainbow. 9:30 p.m., $10.
  • George Buys @ The Branch. 8 p.m., $5 (Pay What You Can)
  • Fevers @ House of Targ w/ The Box Tiger, Those Gulls. 9 p.m., $10.
  • Sick Sick Sicks @ Atomic Rooster. 4 p.m., free.
  • Grand Theft Ottawa @ Avant-Garde w/ Couchwrecked, F. 8:30 p.m., $8.

Sunday, Aug. 17

  • Frustrations @ Gabba Hey w/ Robots! Everywhere!, Nightshades. 7 p.m., $5.
  • Kelly Sloan @ 8 Locks Flat. 4 p.m., free.
  • Cookies & Tea Concert Series @ Bread By Us ft. Brandon Wint, Nasra Adem. 7 p.m., $10.
  • Ross Neilson Band @ Atomic Rooster. 6 p.m., free.
  • Al Wood @ Atomic Rooster. 10 p.m., free.

Monday, Aug 18

  • Arboretum Music Festival @ The Manx w/ Adam Saikaley Trio performing The Beastie Boys' Ill Communication. 9:30 p.m., free.

Tuesday, Aug. 19

  • Asile @ House of Targ w/ Impalers, Police Funeral, Rough House, Lost Youth. 9 p.m., $5.
  • Arboretum Music Festival @ Le Troquet w/ Jesse MacCormack & Her Harbour. 8 p.m., $5 (free w/ all-week festival pass).

Wednesday, Aug. 20

  • Arboretum Music Festival @ Mavericks w/ Frog Eyes, PS I Love You, Tropical Dripps. 8 p.m., $12 (limited number of all-week festival passes accepted).
  • Arboretum Music Festival @ St. Alban's w/ Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars, Evening Hymns, Bosveld. 6:30 p.m., $20 (free w/ all-week festival pass).

About the Author

Jessa Runciman

Associate Producer

Jessa Runciman is an associate producer with CBC Ottawa, and an avid music fan and show-goer. You can follow her on Twitter @jessarunciman.