Top music shows to see in Ottawa-area this weekend

CBC music columnist Jessa Runciman's picks for live music to see in the Ottawa area this weekend.

Picks include Pony Girl, Loon Choir and Fevers

Pony Girl are playing the Ottawa Rock Lottery at Babylon on Friday night. (Stephanie Godin)

Loon Choir, Smoota and more @Chinatown Remixed (Zen Kitcheh, Shanghai Restaurant), Saturday, May 17

There's no shortage of goings-on to keep you occupied in downtown Ottawa this weekend. For example, just walk down Somerset West and you'll find enough there to cover your Saturday. Chinatown Remixed kicks off that day; it's a month-long celebration of art and community. Aside from vernissages in shops and restaurants all along the street, they're capping off Saturday night with an afterparty in the parking lots of Zen Kitchen and Shanghai Restaurant. That includes musical performances by Ottawa's Loon Choir, and Smoota (a tongue-in-cheek, sultry trombone-playing crooner). The music starts at 8 p.m. and it's free, so you have no excuse to stay home!

Kalle Mattson, Fevers, Pony Girl and more @ Babylon (Ottawa Rock Lottery), Saturday, May 17

Also on Saturday is another community bonding event, which will still be going on after the music at Chinatown Remixed wraps up. The Ottawa Rock Lottery is celebrating its sixth year of taking a handful of local musicians, redistributing them into new musical groups, and giving them 24 hours to come up with original music to perform in front of an audience. The best part is that the whole affair benefits the Ottawa Food Bank. This year's edition includes the return of Kalle Mattson and Fevers, plus others like The Goodluck Assembly, Miss Polygamy and Pony Girl... Not to mention the CBC Bandwidth's own Amanda Putz as host.


Saturday, May 17

  • Ottawa Rock Lottery @ Babylon (fundraiser for the Ottawa Food Bank) ft. Kalle Mattson, Fevers, The Strain, The Goodluck Assembly, BlakDenim, Pony Girl & more, 8 p.m., $10 adv./$15 door
  • Chinatown Remixed afterparty @ Zen Kitchen/Shanghai parking lot on Somerset Street W. ft. Smoota, Loon Choir, 8 p.m., free
  • Sappyfest Book Tour @ Raw Sugar Cafe w/ Mike Feuerstack, Cat Pontoon, Ian Roy, Lucas Hicks & Misha Bower (plus MC Shotgun Jimmie), 9 p.m., $10
  • Zex, Absolut, Walk the Plank, Black Bear Mute @ House of Targ, 8 p.m., $6
  • Alaclair Ensemble @ Le Petit Chicago w/ Mehdi Cayenne Club, 9 p.m., $12
  • Kellylee Evans @ Black Sheep Inn, 8:30 p.m., $20
  • Wooden Horseman @ Pressed w/ Real Ponchos, Jack Pine (solo), 8 p.m., $10
  • Steve Groves @ Atomic Rooster, 4 p.m., free
  • The Be Bop Duo: Bernard Stepien & Nathan Corr @ Hanoi Pho (4312 Innes Road, Orleans), 6 p.m., free
  • Half Past Four @ Irene's, 9 p.m., $12
  • Young Red Rum @ The Daily Grind w/ Penni Layne, Eddie Quotez, The Fine Young Gentlemen, 9 p.m., free
  • Steamers @ The Rainbow w/ River and the Road, Marta Pacek, 9 p.m., $8

Sunday, May 18

  • Toughen Up! (Bruised Tongue event) @ House of Targ w/ Teenanger, Nightshades, 9 p.m., $5 (entry includes arcade games all night)
  • Den-igan @ Raw Sugar Cafe w/ Go Banana, 9 p.m., $6

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.