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Born Ruffians, The Sadies top music picks in and around Ottawa

CBC Ottawa music columnist Jessa Runciman highlights the Neat In the Woods music festival in Burnstown, which features The Sadies, The Trews and Blackie & The Rodeo Kings.

Jessa Runciman highlights the Neat In the Woods music festival in Burnstown

Poorfolk perform at House of TARG on Satruday. (courtesy of White Whale Records)

Born Ruffians @ Ritual, Friday

Born Ruffians have offered a couple of glimpses so far of their upcoming album, Ruff, and while the Toronto group's new singles possess the signature frenetic quirk that's defined them from the beginning, they're also taking that sound somewhere new. A listen to the latest track, "Don't Live Up," shows a clearer sophistication at work behind the dripping, jangling guitar lines and Luke Lalonde's elastic voice. In advance of Ruff's October 2nd release, Born Ruffians have posted a video art project online featuring 12 hours of VHS "behind-the-scenes" material. Each couple of seconds features a different frame from the tape, meaning to watch the entire thing from start to finish (over a million frames) would take you 30 days. Unless you've got that kind of spare time, it's likely better to just see the band live on Friday night. They're playing at Ritual along with fellow Torontonians Weaves. 9pm, $16.

Neat In the Woods festival @ Burnstown, Friday to Sunday

The Sadies perform at Neat In the Woods in Burnstown on Saturday. (Rick White)
Friday also marks the start of Neat In the Woods in Burnstown. The festival, organized by the team behind Neat Café and North on 29, happens a stone's throw from the café on a grassy piece of land complete with a campsite for overnight visitors. Friday and Sunday feature good old-fashioned activities like a giant game of musical chairs, spare-tire bowling, and a coffee sack race — not to mention acoustic sessions throughout the day. If you didn't get your fill of rootsy rock last weekend at CityFolk, you'll want to park your lawnchair at Saturday's main event, with hosts The Arrogant Worms introducing musical performances by Silver Creek, Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers, MonkeyJunk, Matt Anderson, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, The Sadies, and The Trews. Saturday's programming starts at 1:30 p.m., and full festival passes are $70. Here's a link to the Neat In the Woods site for more information on the festival and how to get there.

Poorfolk @ House of TARG, Saturday

It's a busy weekend in Ottawa, with a long list of possible ways to spend Saturday night. The Record Centre is celebrating a full year in its new location, and marking the occasion with a weekend-long party that features Les Petits Fours and The Heavy Medicine Band on Saturday. Over at Babylon, The Souljazz Orchestra kicks off a 30-day, 10-country tour to promote the group's new album Resistance. Then, there's a reunion show for followers of local music lore. Back in the days of listening to bands on Myspace, Poorfolk used to deliver 90s-style indie-rock guitar riffs, heartfelt lyrics and rousing choruses to crowds at local venues. The group released a couple of albums and toured with the likes of Of Montreal and The Dears before, as they put it, geographical constraints and "the push and pull of growing up" got in the way. While some members have continued to make music (Jon Pearce and Matt Godin are now behind Winchester Warm) Poorfolk went on an indefinite hiatus — until now. The band plays House of TARG on Saturday alongside another reunited local group, Acres, and instrumental outfit Species at Risk. (Expect to get a preview of material from an upcoming Poorfolk EP.) 9pm, $10.

Flowers & Fire @ Pressed, Sunday

Flowers & Fire perform at Pressed on Sunday. (Megan Magdalena Bourne)
Dark melodies, powerful vocals, and ringing guitar — that's going to be the sound inside Pressed on Sunday night, when Vancouver post-punk band Flowers & Fire headlines an all-ages show for a packed house. A self-titled demo put out by the four-piece earlier this year was exciting evidence of the group's potential. It's made up of six shadowy tracks that swim in reverb and booming drums, with Izzi Kearns' commanding voice driving the music like a haunting call to arms. Anyone with an affinity for the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Chameleons and early Cult will want to make this band the soundtrack to Halloween 2015. Flowers & Fire joins locals Aube and newcomers Scuff for Sunday's show, which is set to wrap up at 11pm, for all you Monday early-risers. 8pm, $5.

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.