Ottawa·Music picks

4 shows to see in the Ottawa area this weekend

Performances by The Balconies, Timotheos, Ain't No Love and Black Violin round out Amanda Putz's live music picks for this weekend.

The Balconies, Timotheos, Ain't No Love and Black Violin playing shows

Toronto-based Ain't No Love are a trio of two MCs and a singer. They're playing Winterlude at Confederation Park on Saturday night with no cover charge. (Ty Snaden)

The Balconies in Burnstown Thursday, Feb. 6, and Ottawa Friday, Feb. 7

The Balconies are playing in Burnstown on Friday and in downtown Ottawa on Saturday. (
Two-thirds of The Balconies is sister-brother/guitarist-bassist Jacquie and Stephen Neville, and drummer Liam Jaeger completes the rock pie. Although it may be hard to hear the influence, a love of Brahms and post-tonal theory brought Jacquie and Liam together while studying music at The University of Ottawa. All three Balconists are classically trained, but they toss out the theory and go for the thrash when they're on stage as The Balconies. At least, they usually do. If the show calls for an acoustic setup, you might be able to hear their songs completely differently. Liam has said they sometimes perform as a string trio with classical instruments. It will definitely be all rock this weekend: The band plays Burnstown's Neat Cafe Thursday night and Ritual in downtown Ottawa Friday night. Both shows feature Say Yes opening. 

Timotheos @ Avante Garde Bar, Friday, Feb. 7, 9 p.m., $PWYC

For those that might, say, prefer the gentler side of The Balconies, one can go right next door instead. Timotheos is bringing his dreamy, evocative sonic paintings to Avante Garde Bar. He attempts to evoke images of both the past and the future in his audio landscapes, which is useful to keep in mind when you're listening. It's sparse and very methodical, and a trained ear might even catch a reference or two to numeric patterning in Coptic Manichaean literature. (Mine didn't.) Timotheos is actually Tim Pettipiece, a classics and religion teacher at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. He says he's obsessed with the religious aspects of the ancient world. The inspiration for Tim's music comes from reading ancient history and sci-fi, which is why you might think this would make a good soundtrack to Dune. I, in turn, became a bit obsessed with Timotheos' stuff on his CBC Music page when I was researching this column. It's incredible and I think the show at Avante Garde Bar will take you to another world. That is, if the vodka menu hasn't already. Timotheos plays with Paug Lake Road and Oliver Doyon at 9 p.m. and it's a pay-what-you-can cover charge. 

Ain't No Love @ Confederation Park, Main Stage, Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 p.m., free

Winterlude began last weekend, with various musical offerings sprinkled near its three main sites and also far from them. Namely, the Shenkman Arts Centre. It's hosting two great bands this weekend, and they appear to be affiliated with Winterlude. Locals The Good luck Assembly and Laurent Bourque play Friday at the Orleans soft-seat theatre, and rootsy, French speaking band Kain on Saturday. Kain is terrific and I highly recommend that show.

Meanwhile, at Winterlude home base in Confederation Park, you can find a little renegade pop in the form of Ain't No Love. They're a Toronto trio made up of two MCs — 1990 and Beanz — and singer Saidah Conrad. The Montreal Mirror said it well when it described them as "lavish and full of pop hookery." Saidah's voice is powerful, as are her bandmates' rhymes. It's nice to see that Winterlude finally realized you can't fight the power of mother nature. DJs and vocalists, unlike electric guitars and fiddles, don't go out of tune in -20 C! Unless of course said vocalist is stupid enough to wear bare legs and a miniskirt, like someone did at Winterlude several years back.

Black Violin @ Centrepointe Theatre, Saturday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m., $28.50

Black Violin are playing on Saturday at the Centrepointe Theatre. (
Let's go from a white rapper in Ain't No Love to African-American viola and violin players Kev Marcus and Will B in Black Violin. This act seems to tie this whole column together in their crossover of classical training, hip hop, pop and musical education. Thankfully at Centrepointe Theatre on Saturday they don't have to worry about their instruments being de-tuned due to frigid temperatures. They wouldn't know much about our climes, having met in the high school orchestra in Fort Lauderdale where they grew up. These guys have played with everyone from Alicia Keys to The Eagles, but their favourite gigs are in schools. They preach the gospel of staying in school and the importance of music education, since music helped them travel the world.


Friday, Feb. 7

  • Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremonies @ Confederation Park, 10:30 a.m. with Lucy van Oldenbarneveld and Mathieau Nadon on stage, CBC broadcast at 11 a.m.
  • The Balconies + Say Yes + Eagleson @ Ritual, 9 p.m., $12
  • The Belle Game @ NAC Fourth stage, 7:30 p.m., $22+
  • The Goodluck Assembly + Laurent Bourque @ The Richcraft Centre, Shenkman Arts Centre in Orléans, 8 p.m. doors, $14.50
  • Timotheos + Paug Lake Road + Oliver Doyon @ Avant Garde Bar, 9 p.m., $PWYC
  • Tim Hicks + Kira Isabella @ Algonquin Commons Theatre, 8 p.m., $20-30 range
  • The Frank James Band at 4 p.m., free, followed by Suns of Stone + The Wicked Mercy + WOMB + Motherleads at 9 p.m. @ The Rainbow, $10

Saturday, Feb. 8

  • Kain @ Shenkman Arts Centre in Orléans, 8 p.m. doors, $38.75
  • A Tribe Called Red (Electric Pow Wow) @ Babylon, 10 p.m.
  • Ain't No Love @ Winterlude Main stage in Confederation Park, free
  • The B-Sides (The Brothers Chaffey + Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk) @ The Rainbow, 9 p.m., $10
  • Waterbomber @ The Rainbow, 4 p.m., free 
  • Bronson Novella + The Treble + Cody Allen @ Zaphod Beeblebrox, 8:30 p.m., $10
  • Black Violin @ Centrepointe Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $25+

Sunday, Feb. 9

  • Buckcherry + Bleeker Ridge + 3 Pill Morning @ Mavericks, 10 p.m., $38

Wednesday, Feb. 12

  • Down With Webster + Son Real + D-Pryde @ Bronson Centre Theatre, 6 p.m., $32.50
  • Megan Bonnell + Emilie Mover + Peas & Carrots @ Raw Sugar Cafe, 8 p.m., $10
  • Carl Tremblay, Jim Zeller, Jimmy James launch 19th edition of Viree Blues Boreale @ Le Petit Chicago in Old Hull, 8 p.m.