live music

5 shows to see in Ottawa this week

RBC Bluesfest has some great shows but there are several other bands to see in Ottawa this week and weekend including Lemuria, Yung Lean, Sea Change and the Fryquency show.

Lemuria, Yung Lean, Sea Change, Fryquency among shows to see that aren't RBC Bluesfest

Lemuria @ House of Targ, Thursday at 9 p.m., $10

Lemuria is a trio from Buffalo, N.Y., that got its name from the Atlantis-like sunken continent, which scientists used to believe existed under the Indian or Pacific Ocean.

It's not a hypothesis that's taken seriously anymore but the idea of a lost, ancient landscape still held a lot of romance for the members of Lemuria when they formed over a decade ago. The steady members of the band are drummer Alex Kearns and guitarist Sheena Ozzella, who share vocal duties. 

Lemuria plays at House of Targ on Thursday, July 10 in Ottawa. (Lemuria)
They've been joined by a cast of bassists over the years, although Lemuria seems to have hit a stride with their fourth and current bass player, Max Gregor. The group just returned from a tour of Southeast Asia and now they're sticking to life on the road by making their way through Canada and the United States.

Thursday, they'll be in town at House of Targ along with their frequent tour-buddies, Portland's Kind of Like Spitting — a low-fi emo outfit that's been playing since the mid-90s. Ottawa's own Night Shades are also on the bill. 9 p.m., $10.

Sea Change @ Irene's Pub, Friday at 9:30 p.m., $10

Just a little further north along Bank Street, at Irene's Pub in the Glebe, Ottawa's Sea Change is set to perform on Friday night.

The instrumental group creates rich, dramatic music that incorporates jazz, traditional folk and contemporary classical styles using banjo, violin, upright bass, guitar, and the odd shout. It's a case of the traditional meeting the experimental and the level of musicianship at work between the four members of Sea Change is undeniable. 

Despite the fact they've played shows around town for a couple of years, it's only now Sea Change is getting ready to unleash an EP of studio-recorded material (Treepot Media/CBC Music)
Despite the fact they've played shows around town for a couple of years, it's only now the band is getting ready to unleash an EP of studio-recorded material.

They're marking that release at Friday's show where they'll be joined by another impressive Ottawa group called The Visit: a lush, male-female duo making string-embellished, intense compositions that don't feel as though they belong to a particular period in time.

For a night of emotional, complex performances, Irene's is the place to be on Friday night. 9:30 p.m., $10.

Yung Lean with NDMA @ Ritual, Friday at 10 p.m., $20

Nilton De Menezes, or NDMA. (CBC Music)
RBC Bluesfest is still underway and with it comes a few good after-parties. Case in point, the one set for Friday night at Ritual.

At 18 years old, Yung Lean is a Swedish hip-hop sensation whose rhymes tend to be concerned with things like retro Nintendo games and ironic fashion choices like North Face jackets and bucket hats. He's part of a wave of "sad" rappers who are inclined to wear their emotions on their sleeves. 

​After Yung Lean's performance at LeBreton Flats in the evening, his follow-up show includes an opening set by one of Ottawa's hardest-working hip-hop musicians: NDMA

Nilton De Menezes grew up in Angola, then lived in Brazil before bringing those international influences to Ottawa and nestling into a cosy niche in the hip-hop scene here — not to mention our fashion scene. NDMA is known for his striking street style and even runs a fashion-forward blog.

You can catch him in all his musical and aesthetic glory by dropping by Ritual to see him alongside Laocapone and Yung Lean. 10 p.m., $20.

Baberaham Lincoln @ Mugshots, Saturday at 9 p.m., Pay what you can

When it comes to summertime venues, I think my favourite place to hang out in Ottawa is the courtyard at Mugshots, behind the HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel.

On Saturday, that's where, against the backdrop of those old, slightly-haunted stone walls, you can drop by for this month's instalment of Fryquency - a collaborative showcase between Debaser, a show on CKCU, and Weird Canada, one of the country's foremost music sites. 

Baberaham Lincoln. (Facebook)
​This weekend's show features Brave Radar, a pop duo from Montreal made up of the founders of a label called Fixture Records, and another slightly punky Montreal group called The Nymphets. Joining them, though, is a relatively new Ottawa band that's helping to show why our music scene is worth getting excited about. 

Baberaham Lincoln consists of one guy, two girls and a whole lot of appreciation for noisy, major-key melodies. Despite being a relatively new band, Baberaham Lincoln includes some veteran experience, with one of its members having a hand in other projects like Heavy Bedroom and Roberta Bondar.

Doors open at 9 p.m., and entry is pay-what-you-can.

Goddo @ Bluesfest, Sunday at 9 p.m., $45

With Bluesfest wrapping up on Sunday, I wanted to include an option for those looking to squeeze one last gasp out of the festival on its final day.

As with much of the lineup this year, Sunday's schedule of performers is diverse — everything from Said the Whale, to Wakefield band Farewell Davidson, to Collective Soul.

If you were tuning in to the radio back in 1977, though, you might remember a band from Scarborough called Goddo. 

Goddo of Scarborough, Ont., saw some success in the late 70s and early 80s but never reached international acclaim. (
The trio delivered the perfect soundtrack to summer parties and handlebar moustaches, with all the classic rock power their long hair and belly-showing tops could muster. Seriously, though — ​Goddo was really, really good — and yet despite releasing around 10 albums and seeing some success in the late 70s and early 80s, they never achieved the sort of international recognition they'd been capable of.

Nonetheless, three decades later, they're still going strong and are closing Bluesfest at the festival's River Stage. They'll go on at about 9 p.m., and day-passes for Sunday cost $45.

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  • Lemuria, Kind of Like Spitting, Night Shades @ House of Targ, 9 p.m., $10
  • JP Soars @ The Rainbow, 9 p.m., $10
  • Vienna Piano Trio @ St. Andrew's Church, Music & Beyond, 7:30 p.m., $30
  • All-Stars Blues Thursdays @ Irene's Pub w/ Jed Rocket Rached, 9:30 p.m., free​
  • Bluesfest: Blondie, Dave Mason's Traffic Jam, Royal Canoe, The Band Perry, Procol Harum w/ the NAC Orchestra, Gogol Bordello, Firebelly, Ukrainia, Bella Cat, The Districts, John Mayall, Young the Giant & more @ LeBreton Flats, 5 p.m., $50


  • Sea Change @ Irene's Pub w/ The Visit, 9:30 p.m., $10
  • Yung Lean @ Ritual w/ NDMA, Laocapone, 10 p.m., $20
  • Mother's Children, Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs, Pale Lips @ House of Targ, 9 p.m., $5
  • Aviary Kings, Avarice, The Tenenbaums @ Pressed, 8p.m., $7
  • Avant Garde's 10th Anniversary Party @ Avant Garde w/ The Cowards, Tindervox, The Ven Dreddies, 9 p.m., free
  • Colin Moore @ Aux 4 Jeudis, 5 p.m., free
  • Standby Brothers @ The Branch. 9 p.m., $5
  • Paul Stubbings @ St. Andrew's Church, Music & Beyond, 12 p.m., $30
  • Cantata Singers of Ottawa @ St. Joseph's Parish, Music & Beyond, 5 p.m., $30
  • Global Warming: Jan Jarvlepp, Colin Mack, Roddy Elias, Matthew Larkin, Gabor Finta @ Museum of Nature, Music & Beyond, 7 p.m., $30
  • Vienna Piano Trio @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Music & Beyond, 7:30 p.m., $30
  • The Frank James Band @ The Rainbow, 4 p.m., free
  • The Jeff Jensen Band @ The Rainbow, 10 p.m., $5
  • Bluesfest: Ryan Hemsworth, Barenaked Ladies, Texas Horns, Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Yung Lean, Third Eye Blind, Thornetta Davis, Jacques Greene, BADBADNOTGOOD, Amanda Rheaume, July Talk & more @ LeBreton Flats, 5 p.m., $45


  • Brave Radar, The Nymphets, Baberaham Lincoln @ Mugshots, 9 p.m., PWYC
  • Criticull, Muffler Crunch, Elementals @ House of Targ, 9 p.m., $5
  • Ray Harris & The SOBS @ Atomic Rooster, 4p.m., free
  • Vienna Piano Trio @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Music & Beyond, 2p.m., $30
  • Music and Magic w/ Chris Pilsworth @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Music & Beyond, 7:30 p.m., $30
  • The New Soul Project @ The Rainbow, 10 p.m., $10
  • The Acorn @ The Branch, 9 p.m., $10
  • GoJo's Mojo @ Irene's Pub, 9:30 p.m., $10
  • Kuljit & The Bollywood Heat @ Mercury Lounge, 7 p.m., $15
  • Carlos Alberto Santana Trio @ GigSpace, 7:30 p.m., $20
  • Empty Shelves, Grand Splendid, Paterson Hall @ Cafe Dekcuf, 8 p.m., $5
  • Lucky Ron @ The Lafayette, 4 p.m., free
  • Bluesfest: John Allaire & The Campistas, Atherton, Action Bronson, Deltron 3030, AWOLNATION, Snoop Dogg (i.e. Snoop Lion), Dr. Hook ft. Ray Sawyer, The Mavericks, Childish Gambino, Sound of Lions & more @ LeBreton Flats, 12 p.m., $50


  • Bluesfest: Goddo, Darrell Nulisch, Lord Huron, Moist, The Red Rails, Still Winter Hills, Farewell Davidson, Said the Whale, Groenland, Collective Soul, Elvin Bishop & more @ LeBreton Flats, 12 p.m., $45
  • River City Junction @ Atomic Rooster, 6 p.m., free
  • Scott Allen & Dr. Dave @ Atomic Rooster, 10 p.m., free
  • Donna Brown & Stefan Mendl @ Tabaret Hall (U of O), Music & Beyond, 2 p.m., $30
  • Alexandre Da Costa & The Acacia String Ensemble @ Southminster United Church, Music & Beyond, 7:30 p.m., $30
  • Sunday Afternoon Open Blues Jam @ The Rainbow w/ Maria Hawkins, 4 p.m., $3
  • The Birdie Whyte Show @ The Lafayette, 6 p.m., free


  • Caroline Leonardelli @ Mackay United Church, Music & Beyond, 2 p.m., $30
  • Capital Chamber Choir & Thorwald Jorgensen @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Music & Beyond, 7:30 p.m., $30


  • Oliver Jones @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Music & Beyond, 7:30 p.m., $30
  • Thorwald Jorgensen & Jean Desmarais @ Southminster United Church, Music & Beyond, 12 p.m., $30
  • Adam's Leaf, Trevor Dubois, The Stringers @ The Rainbow, 9 p.m., $5


  • Dr. Dave @ The Rainbow, 4 p.m., $3
  • The John Carroll Show @ The Lafayette, 8 p.m., free​
  • Despax Quartet @ First Baptist Church, Music & Beyond, 12 p.m., $30
  • Triple Forte @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Music & Beyond, 2 p.m., $30
  • Ottawa Wind Ensemble @ Tabaret Hall (UOttawa), Music & Beyond, 5 p.m., free
  • Thirteen Strings w/ Claire de Sevigne @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Music & Beyond, 7:30p.m., $30
  • Said the Whale @ Neat Coffee Shop, 7:30 p.m., $35
  • The Chocolate Hot Pockets @ Cafe Nostalgica, 9 p.m., free

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.