Live Music

Top shows to see in and around Ottawa this weekend

Kestrels, Electric Six and CADE are among Jessa Runciman's top live music picks in and around Ottawa this week.

Kestrels, Electric Six and CADE among Jessa Runciman's picks

Electric Six @ Mavericks, Friday, 8 p.m., $17

Electric Six will perform at Mavericks on Friday ( Alicia Gbur)
On Friday, a show at Mavericks will likely also have people dancing — although the vibe will be less sexy nightclub, and a little more erratic and guitar-fuelled. Electric Six are best known for their cult hit song "Gay Bar" from back in 1998, or the song, "Danger! High Voltage!" which features guest vocals from an unnamed fellow Detroit musician who sounds suspiciously similar to Jack White. The band has been going strong in the decade since that single, though, and just in the past year have been extremely busy overseeing the release of their ninth studio album, Mustang, last fall — and preparing their new album called Human Zoo for release in the coming months.

Besides that, they've embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a double-album consisting of half covers (determined by donors) and half rarities. It's not the first time Electric Six has used Kickstarter — the crowd-funding site helped the band put out a live DVD earlier this year. You can catch them when they blow through Ottawa on Friday with The Mohrs; a female-fronted, heart-on-the-sleeve rock band that's received heavy mentoring from Hawksley Workman. 8 p.m., $17.

Kestrels @ Pressed, Friday, 8 p.m., $6

Kestrels will perform at Pressed on Friday. (CBC)
Elsewhere that night, Halifax's Kestrels will be taking the stage for an Ottawa appearance I'm going to try my darnedest not to miss. The band has just put out an EP that sounds like an homage to Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine-esque shoegaze outfits of the early- and mid-nineties.The band is fronted by Chad and Devin Peck, along with their friend Paul Brown on drums — and together they create a thick, sonic wall of melting guitar and understated vocal melodies. The band's songs are informed in large part by their live shows; they go on tour, reflect on how it felt to play the songs they did, then tweak things as necessary the next time they record. For example, they found themselves getting bored playing longer songs in front of audiences, so to keep energy levels up they've started writing shorter ones.

Lyrically, Chad says a lot of the words come from things he's reading at the time — that means Kestrels's most recent EP devotes some time to channelling Samuel Beckett (an influence you can hear in songs like "Eternal and Debased"). Kestrels are performing at Pressed alongside Mnemonics — a local punk band that's heavy on the upbeat pop melodies, and Montreal's Harsh Reality, which delivers sludgy, distortion-rich indie-rock. 8 p.m., $6.

CADE @ Raw Sugar, Saturday, 8 p.m., $7

Cade will perform at Raw Sugar Cafe on Saturday. (CBC)
Let me point you in the direction of Raw Sugar Cafe on Saturday night. That's where a young Torontonian by the name of Kaiya Cade will be wooing audiences with her delicate, ethereal songwriting. CADE is what she calls her project; it incorporates traditional folk, dreamy indie-pop, and an appreciation for celtic music — not to mention a healthy rhythm and blues component, which she comes by naturally. Kaiya's dad is Brooke Blackburn, a blues guitarist who performs with his brothers in the group Blackburn. Her grandfather, Bobby Dean Blackburn, was a prolific Toronto blues musician who established himself as a leader in the city's scene in the 1950s. Saturday's show marks Cade's first ever appearance in Ottawa. She'll be supported by another guitar-player, an upright bassist, a drummer and a violinist, so you can expect a night of moody, captivating music from the group — and from Ottawa's own Justice R.F., who'll be opening the show. 8pm, $7.



  • Electric Six @ Mavericks w/ The Mohrs​, 8 p.m., $17
  • Kestrels, Harsh Reality, Mnemonics @ Pressed, 8 p.m., $6
  • The Weber Brothers @ Irene's, 9:30 p.m., $10
  • The Frank James Band @ The Rainbow, 4 p.m., free
  • The Conor Gains Band @ The Rainbow, 10 p.m., $10
  • The Almighty Trigger Happy @ House of Targ w/ HellBros!, Audio​, 9 p.m., $10
  • Bella Cat Blues @ Black Sheep Inn w/ Matt Dorgan Project, Dynamite Motel, 8:30 p.m., $10
  • Maple Hill @ The Branch, 9 p.m., $10
  • Miss Polygamy @ 8 Locks Flat​, 7 p.m., free


  • CADE @ Raw Sugar Cafe w/ Justice R.F.​, 8 p.m., $7
  • Rocket Rached & The Fat City 8 @ Irene's, 9:30 p.m., $10
  • Atticus @ The Rainbow, 4 p.m., free
  • Pleasure Craft @ The Rainbow, 10 p.m., $10
  • Bluestone @ Atomic Rooster, 4 p.m., free
  • The Superlative @ House of Targ w/ Of Tall Tales, Metronome Jones, 9 p.m., $10
  • Us With Wolves @ Mavericks w/ Arms of the Girl, Bearings, PINE, 8 p.m., $10
  • Goodnight Sunrise @ Zaphod's w/ Hearts & Mines, Grand Theft Ottawa, 8 p.m., $7
  • Amelia Curran @ Black Sheep Inn, 8:30 p.m., $25
  • Sultans of String @ The Branch, 9 p.m., $10
  • Sam Korosi @ 8 Locks Flat​, 4 p.m., free


  • "She's Listening III" @ Black Sheep Inn w/ Tessa Duc, Angela Saini, Kristine St-Pierre, 4:20 p.m., $10
  • Sunday Afternoon Open Blues Jam @ The Rainbow w/ The Steve Thomas Band, 4 p.m., $3
  • Mid Coast Band @ The Rainbow, 9 p.m., $5
  • Double Double @ Atomic Rooster, 6 p.m., free
  • Fabien @ Atomic Rooster, 10 p.m., free
  • Touche Amore @ Ritual w/ Tigers Jaw, Dads​, 8 p.m., $15
  • The Birdie Whyte Show @ The Lafayette, 6 p.m., free
  • Rod Williams & JW Jones Duo @ 8 Locks Flat​, 4 p.m., free


  • The Marwells, Baytown, Hornswater @ The Rainbow, 9 p.m., $10


  • Velvet Noise @ Pressed w/ Arms of the Girl​, 8 p.m., $7
  • Shirley Gnome & Lefty McRighty @ Zaphod's​, 8 p.m., $7
  • Dr. Dave @ The Rainbow, 3 p.m., free
  • Xprime @ The Rainbow, 9 p.m., $5
  • The John Carroll Show @ The Lafayette, 8 p.m., free