The Belle Game and The Strain, Thursday at the Black Sheep Inn

Listening to Vancouver's The Belle Game, you get the sense you're hearing something familiar. It could be because good pop songs have that tendency and make you feel like you know them upon the first listen.

Likely, it's also because of the band's nostalgic, dreamy sound, which conjures up images of old black-and-white horror films. Andrea Lo's vocals are haunting and mournful — but there's something celebratory in the crash of cymbals, cascading piano keys and smeared guitar. After years of playing together, the band has been gaining momentum since the release of their last album, Ritual Tradition Habit, and are drawing crowds at festivals like Osheaga in Montreal, where they'll be playing this weekend.

First, though — they're making a stop in our region with a show at the Black Sheep Inn. The Belle Game is performing alongside Wakefield's The Strain. 8:30 p.m., $10.

Jaron Freeman Fox & The Opposite of Everything, Thursday at Mugshots

Jaron Freeman Fox

Jaron Freeman Fox & The Opposite of Everything play Mugshots Thursday with Shannon Rose & The Thorns and Jack Pine & The Fire. (Photo courtesy Ryan Wilson)

Also on Thursday, Mugshots is hosting a world-traveller and self-proclaimed "Jimi Hendrix" when it comes to the violin. Whether you agree with a comparison like that or not, the fact of the matter is that Jaron Freeman Fox is really, really good at the violin.

Not just that — he's an innovator, having studied under some of Canada's jazz greats as well as India's classical masters. For years, the majority of his time was devoted to performing with acts like Delhi2Dublin and The Good Lovelies, but now, Jaron Freeman Fox is focusing pretty much entirely on his own Toronto-based band, The Opposite of Everything.

Accompanying his violin and voice with accordion, keyboard, bass, drums and clarinet, the result is a beefed-up energy level and songs that run the gamut from bluegrass to salsa to klezmer. Jaron Freeman Fox & The Opposite of Everything are headlining the show at Mugshots and will be joined by a couple of perfectly complementary local acts: Shannon Rose & The Thorns and Jack Pine & The Fire. 8:30 p.m., $8.

Roberta Bondar, Femme Accident and The Brabazons at House of Targ, Friday

Roberta Bondar, the band

Roberta Bondar play with Femme Accident and The Brabazons at the House of Targ Friday night. (Photo courtesy Kathy Roussel)

There's something for pretty much any appetite once Friday rolls around. Don't forget Chamberfest is still on -- and meanwhile at St. Alban's, SAW Video's "Sound/Tracks" event will pair media artists with local musicians to create audiovisual experiences using sculptures, projections and even water.

I want to direct you to Old Ottawa South, though, where one of the city's most exciting bands, Roberta Bondar, is celebrating the release of a brand new tape on local cassette label, Bruised Tongue.

The new album, Caustic, might be the band's strongest, most cohesive collection of songs yet. It's a storm of dark clouds and guitars, but with threads of something refined holding everything together; maybe it's guitarist-vocalist Lidija Rozitis herself, who always conveys a sense of stoicism even when she's rocking out like a Sonic Youth contemporary.

Besides the fact that album releases always have an air of festivity, Friday's show at House of Targ will be especially fun because of the two great Montreal bands who are also on the bill —​ Femme Accident (ringing shoegaze pop) and The Brabazons (fuzzy garage). 9 p.m., $6.

Cory Seznec at the Neat Coffee Shop, Saturday

Cory Seznec

Cory Seznec plays Neat Coffee Shop Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy Mario di Bari)

If you're looking to get out of town this Saturday, you could head to the Black Sheep Inn where Wakefield's Farewell Davidson is playing, or to Kemptville where Don Reid is giving a tip-jar show of jazz piano tunes at The Branch.

Another option is the Neat Coffee Shop in Burnstown, where a one-of-a-kind Franco-American performer named Cory Seznec will be visiting. When you listen to his new album, Beauty In the Dirt, you'll hear African influences come through in the percussion and plucky guitar finger-picking.

In fact, Seznec spends much of his time living in Ethiopia, travelling to countries like Egypt to immerse himself in their music scenes. The rest of his time is spent in Paris, where he plays with a full band. Most recently, they won a Franco-Quebecois youth music prize that landed them a spot on the bill at Festiblues in Montreal.

Hence, Cory Seznec's voyage to Canada this summer, complete with a stop in Burnstown for audiences at the Neat. This show will likely fill up quickly, so you'll want to make sure you show up in time to snag a good seat. 7:30 p.m., $15.

Against Me! plays Ritual Sunday w/ Creepoid and Crusades

Against me!

Against Me! are playing with Philadelphia's Creepoid and Ottawa's own Crusades at Ritual on Sunday. (Courtesy Ryan Russell)

Against Me! is a punk band from Gainesville, Fla., whose move to a major label a few years ago resulted in poppier songs and high rotation on mainstream radio. Around the same time, the band's frontperson, who went by Tom Gabel at the time, was feeling a growing need to be upfront about being transgender. In 2012, she made the brave move of coming out in Rolling Stone magazine, re-introducing herself to fans as Laura Jane Grace.

This past April, Against Me! released an album directly inspired by Laura Jane Grace's transition to living as a woman: Transgender Dysphoria Blues. This evolution of Against Me! and its primary songwriter has been unprecedented in popular music, and it's been inspiring to see the level of support the band has received from fans. I saw Against Me! play in 2007 and couldn't get over the intensity of the energy between the band and its audience, which sang along to every word.

That atmosphere isn't likely to be different on Sunday at Ritual. Against Me! are playing with Philadelphia's Creepoid and Ottawa's own Crusades. 8 p.m., $23.

LISTINGS:

Thursday, July 31st:

  • The Belle Game @ Black Sheep Inn, w/ The Strain, 8:30 p.m., $10.
  • Jaron Freeman Fox & The Opposite of Everything @ Mugshots, w/ Shannon Rose & The Thorns, Jack Pine & The Fire, 8:30 p.m., $8.
  • Stella Ella Ola @ House of Targ, w/ Average Times, 9 p.m., $5.
  • PINE @ Festival House (450 Churchill Ave.), w/ The Sick Sick Sicks, Bluesfest Bluesprint Series, 8 p.m., $5.
  • All-Star Blues Thursdays @ Irene's, w/ Steve Groves, 9:30 p.m., free.
  • Danielle Allard @ Avant Garde, w/ Tariq Anwar, Twisted Planet, Ottawa Music Index Fundraiser, 8 p.m., $5.
  • Linda Marie & The GMC @ The Rainbow, 4 p.m., free.
  • After Funk @ The Rainbow, 9 p.m., $7.
  • Wild Child @ Neat Coffee Shop, 7:30 p.m., $30.
  • Obey the Brave @ Mavericks, w/ Killitorous, We Were Sharks, Dreamer/Deceiver, 7 p.m., $15

Ottawa Chamberfest

  • Vanitas Vanitatum - Rome 1650 @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 12 p.m., $30.
  • Bring the Kids - Rambunctious! @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 2 p.m., free.
  • Mahler, Martinu, and Brahms @ National Gallery of Canada Auditorium, 3 p.m., $30​.
  • Siskind Snapshots @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 5:45 p.m., free​.
  • NYO Pre-Concert Performance @ NAC Lobby, 6:45, free.
  • Miro Quartet with Jon Kimura Parker @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 7 p.m., $35.
  • National Youth Orchestra of Canada @ NAC Southam Hall, 8 p.m., $20.
  • From Dawn 'til Dusk @ St. Brigid's, 10 p.m., $30.

Friday, Aug. 1

  • Roberta Bondar @ House of Targ, w/ Femme Accident, The Brabazons, 9 p.m., $6.
  • Ben Caplan @ Black Sheep Inn, 8:30 p.m., $12.
  • Steve Groves Trio @ The Branch, 9 p.m., $10.
  • Ryan Cook & Kelly Sloan @ Irene's, 9:30 p.m., $10.
  • The Frank James Band @ The Rainbow, 4 p.m., free.
  • Young Doctors in Love @ The Rainbow, 9 p.m., $7.
  • Battlecross @ Mavericks, w/ Crimson Shadows, IKILLYA, Endemise, Deathrow Six, 6:30 p.m., $13.
  • Marc Charron @ 8 Locks Flat, 7 p.m., free.
  • Sound/Tracks @ St. Alban's, ft. Melody McKiver, Her Harbour, Instant Places, Adam Saikaley, 8 p.m., $5

Ottawa Chamberfest

  • Haydn Contrasts @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 12 p.m., $30.
  • Lafayette String Quartet @ National Gallery of Canada Auditorium, 3 p.m., $30​.
  • Siskind Snapshots @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 5:45 p.m., free.
  • An Evening with Janina Fialkowska @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 7 p.m., $29-47.
  • Sounds from Space - The Voyager Golden Record Remix Project @ St. Brigid's, 10 p.m., $30.

Saturday, August 2nd:

  • Cory Seznec @ Neat Coffee Shop, 7:30 p.m., $15.
  • Farewell Davidson @ Black Sheep Inn, w/ The Lionyls, Old Stereo, 8:30 p.m., $7.
  • Don Reid @ The Branch, 7 p.m., $5.
  • Evan Van Roon @ The Rainbow, w/ Broke Noble, Sans Foulard, 4 p.m., $10.
  • Prett Melberts @ The Rainbow, w/ The Cowards, Hunter, The Ramblin' Valley Band, 10 p.m., $8.
  • The Agonist, The Catalyst, My Shadow, Accursed Creation @ Mavericks, 7 p.m., $13.
  • Zex @ House of Targ, w/ Alcohol Fueled, 9 p.m., $5.
  • The Cardboard Crowns @ Zaphod's, w/ OL'CD, 9 p.m., $7.
  • Bloody Diamonds, The Gowls, Randy Shenanigans, Jinx the Cat @ Avant Garde, 8:30 p.m., $8.
  • Lucky Ron @ The Lafayette, 4 p.m., free.
  • Hornswater @ Irene's, w/ Dan Deslauriers Band, 9:30 p.m., $8.

Ottawa Chamberfest

  • ​I Am In Need of Music @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 12 p.m., $30
  • The Chooi Brothers @ National Gallery of Canada Auditorium, 3 p.m., $30
  • Siskind Snapshots @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 5:45 p.m., free
  • Lemon Bucket Orkestra Animates the Capital @ 55 Byward Market Square, 7 p.m., free
  • Tiempo Libre @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 7 p.m., $35
  • Anahtar @ St. Brigid's, 10 p.m., $30

Sunday, Aug. 3

  • Against Me! @ Ritual, w/ Creepoid, Crusades, 8 p.m., $23.
  • Riishi Von Rex @ The Rainbow, w/ Tribe Royal, Fuzzy & The Boys, 8:30 p.m., $5.
  • The Birdie Whyte Show @ The Lafayette, 6 p.m., free.
  • Astrid Young @ Neat Coffee Shop, 7:30 p.m., $30.

Ottawa Chamberfest

  • Canadian Guitar Quartet @ Beechwood Cemetery, 11am, $30
  • Dover Quartet @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 3 p.m., $30
  • Siskind Snapshots @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 5:45 p.m., free
  • What Makes it Great? Beethoven's String Quartet No.16 Op.135 @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 7 p.m., $35
  • Luminico @ St. Brigid's, 10 p.m., $30

Monday, Aug. 4

Ottawa Chamberfest

  • New Music Now I @ Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle, 12 p.m., $30
  • New Music Now II @ Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle , 1:30 p.m., $30.
  • New Music Now III @ Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle, 3 p.m., $30
  • Siskind Snapshots @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 5:45 p.m., free
  • The Brodsky Quartet @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 7 p.m., $35
  • La Vuta - Violin Beyond the Pale @ St. Brigid's, 10 p.m., $30

Tuesday, Aug. 5

Ottawa Chamberfest

  • ​New Music Now IV @ Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle, 12 p.m., $30.
  • New Music Now V @ Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle, 1:30 p.m., $30.
  • New Music Now VI @ Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle, 3 p.m., $30.
  • Siskind Snapshots @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 5:45 p.m., free.
  • Il Trionfo del Tempo - Handel's First Oratorio @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 7 p.m., $29-47.
  • Shuffle @ St. Brigid's, 10 p.m., $30.

Wednesday, Aug. 6

  • The Atlas Moth @ Cafe Dekcuf, w/ Goetia, 7 p.m., $13.
  • Dr. Dave's Jazz & Blues Review @ The Rainbow, 4 p.m., free.
  • Gloryhound @ Zaphod's, w/ The Damn Truth, 8 p.m., $10.
  • Generacion Suicida @ House of Targ, w/ Pura Mania, Proxy, Shackles, 9 p.m., $5.
  • Ron Hynes @ Irene's, 9:30 p.m., $25.
  • The John Carroll Show @ The Lafayette, 8 p.m., free

Ottawa Chamberfest

  • The Bach Summit I @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 10am, $30.
  • Bach Bits and Bites @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 11:35am, free.
  • The Bach Summit II @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 12 p.m., $30.
  • What Makes it Great? Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 3 p.m., $30
  • Siskind Snapshots @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 5:45 p.m., free
  • Gryphon Trio in Concert @ Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 7 p.m., $35
  • Primadonna Does Shakespeare @ St. Brigid's, 10 p.m., $30