Doldrums Festival, Pandaléon on stages this weekend

From Celtic folk-rock to dreamy bedroom pop, Jessa Runciman's live music recommendations offer four ways to get out in the city.

Jessa Runciman's music picks mark St. Patrick's Day and the start of spring

St-Bernardin's Pandaléon launches a new album at the NAC Studio on Saturday night. (Julien Lavoie)

Jimmy George @ House of Targ on Thursday, 9 p.m., $6

Ottawa celtic folk-rockers Jimmy George play at House of Targ on Thursday night, for St. Patrick's Day. (YouTube)

If St. Patrick's Day finds you out on the town, there's a chance you'll run into Jimmy George. The local revellers channel The Pogues with a brand of Celtic folk-rock that fuses tradition with broken-bottle grit.

The band got its start in the early 90s opening for allied acts like Spirit of the West, eventually becoming a Sunday staple at the now-defunct Duke of Somerset for nearly a decade. Even Tom Green was a fan. While Jimmy George officially called it quits in 1997, the group comes out of retirement every now and then for special occasions, like celebrating St. Paddy.

You won't have to drink green beer or wear a silly hat to take in Jimmy George's show on Thursday night. There'll be none of that at House of Targ.

Doldrums Music Festival on Friday and Saturday @ Club SAW, 9 p.m., $10

This weekend marks the start of spring, and organizers of the annual Doldrums Music Festival have been counting down the days to show winter the door. To give it the boot in style, they've planned two nights of local music at SAW Gallery, each with a different feel.

Frayd is part of a line-up of local performers at Club SAW on Friday night, as part of the two-day Doldrums Music Festival. (Facebook)

The first, on Friday, is set to be a spacier, synthier pop experience, with acts like Willows, Pith & the Parenchymas and Frayd on the bill.

Then, they'll up the decibel level with a rock show on Saturday that features the likes of Slow Dawn and Creep Wave. A solid way to welcome longer, sunnier days. Both shows cost $10, with doors at 9pm.

Pandaléon @ NAC Studio on Saturday, 7:30 p.m., $25

How clearly do you remember your elementary school? For the members of Pandaléon, those early experiences in grade school provided inspiration for the band's latest album.

Brothers Fred and Jean-Philippe Levac were students at a now-abandoned 1950s elementary school in St-Bernardin. Rather than enter a studio, Pandaléon took to those empty halls and classrooms for five weeks, setting up mics everywhere from the gym, to the custodian's office, to the girls' washroom. The result is a warm, reverberant ambience that envelops the band's new record, Atone

They'll launch the album on Saturday with a show at the NAC Studio.

Trails @ Avant-Garde on Sunday, 7:30 p.m., $7

Trails headlines a show at Avant-Garde Bar on Sunday night. (Facebook)

It's easy to get caught up in the hypnotism of Trails' bedroom psychedelia.

The young musician's songs unfold like a teen dream — poppy, sprawling and intimate in the way it might feel to catch someone dancing when they think they're alone. Her wispy vocals tangle under layers of looped guitar, with hints of Mazzy Star's romanticism, or Julia Holter's experimentation.

For $7, you can catch Trails headlining a bill at Avant-Garde on Sunday alongside a handful of local acts (Lovecraft and Goodnight Boy, etc). She's one you'll be hearing more from.

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.