Ottawa·live music

Pocket Writer the best bet for live music in Ottawa tonight

The CBC's Jessa Runciman shares her picks for the best shows to see in Ottawa on this Victoria Day weekend.

Jessa Runciman shares her top picks for live music shows to see in the city this weekend

Oddisee @ The Ritual Nightclub, Thursday, 9 p.m. $12

Oddisee will be sharing the stage at The Ritual Nightclub with Kool Krys, Dopekid, Poetic Elements, Erich Mrak, and Knoncents. (Facebook)
Oddisee's new album, The Good Fight, starts with a song about the strength of love for yourself and others over materialism and selfishness. It sets the tone for a record that proceeds to innovate and inspire over the course of its next eleven tracks.

Among rapper-producers, Oddisee is known for the positivity and intimacy of his rhymes -- whether solo, or as one-third of the DC hip-hop group Diamond District. Then there's the lushness of his sound. Respected for his musicality as a producer as much as for his lyricism, The Good Fight takes Oddisee's instrumentation to the next level with rousing percussion and horns, and Brian Wilson-esque vocal parts.

It's an album for music-lovers, regardless of any prior hip-hop leanings -- and Thursday night, Oddisee is bringing it to the stage at Ritual Nightclub. Expect to see the likes of Kool Krys, Dopekid, Poetic Elements, Erich Mrak, and Knoncents before Oddisee performs his headlining set.

Tickets are available in advance at NRML and Vertigo Records for $12, with more to be sold at the doors when they open at 9 p.m.

Megan Jerome @ NAC Fourth Stage, Thursday, 7:30 p.m, $20

Megan Jerome releases her fifth record called Together Ensemble at the NAC on Thursday night. (Supplied photo)
Another album's release is being celebrated elsewhere on Thursday night; this one by a local singer-songwriter whose voice is a staple in the city's jazz and folk scenes.

Megan Jerome's fifth record is called Together Ensemble, and it's as imaginative and emotional as her music has always been -- but the new recordings radiate with a fuller, more textured sound. Jerome developed that sound alongside the album's namesake, The Together Ensemble -- a band she put together with a few of the city's best players: Don Cummings on organ, Freg Guignon on guitar, and Mike Essoudry (Megan's husband) on drums.

The album spans a range of styles and moods, but Megan and the band never sound out of their element -- on the contrary, Together Ensemble is a fitting title for music that feels so comfortable and effortless.

Megan Jerome is welcoming old and new fans alike to the NAC Fourth Stage on Thursday. 7:30pm, $20.

Kurvi Tasch @ Mugshots, Friday, 8 p.m., $8

Jagged guitar. Poppy jangliness. Unpredictable twists and turns.

You wouldn't necessarily think all those qualities would jive well together, but Kurvi Tasch has it down to a science.

Kurvi Tasch, CTZNSHP and Ottawa's Bonnie Doon will perform Friday night at the Mugshots courtyard at the back of the Jail Hostel. (CJLO -- Concordia's radio station)
Yes, they're named after the curly-moustached fascist bad-guy from the Adventures of Tintin -- and yes, that said, they can still write songs that reflect the joy and confusion of trying to find your place in the sun.

The Montreal trio's latest album, On Firm Ground, is fast and dark at points, meandering and easy-going at others -- as if a dystopian post-punk band and The Kinks had a baby and put it to bed every night listening to Chad VanGaalen and Women.

For $8, you can catch Kurvi Tasch playing with fellow Montrealers CTZNSHP and Ottawa's Bonnie Doon in the Mugshots courtyard at the back of the Jail Hostel. 8pm.

Pocket Writer @ Pressed, Saturday, 8 p.m. $7

For those of us who aren't heading out of town for the long weekend, there's a lot of music happening in and around Ottawa that's worth taking in.

On Saturday night alone, you could swing by the Black Sabbath cover night at House of TARG, local singer-songwriter Ty Hall's album release show at Zaphod's, or neighbourhood garage-rockers Glorious Moonrockets at Cafe Dekcuf.

Pocket Writer will feature music from the new album Dented Little Scars on Saturday night. (Bandcamp)
At Pressed, it's a family affair with a show that wraps up with time for you to get your beauty sleep -- or catch some of the other action around town.

Jakub Racek is an Ottawa songwriter who releases understated alt-folk music under the name Pocket Writer. His latest album, Dented Little Scars, is poignant and warm, with songs that feature soft, layered vocals and compelling guitar work, and tell of hospitals and time passing.

The youngest of six musical siblings to arrive in Ottawa from Slovakia, Jakub enlisted some of his family's talents for the album -- including those of his brother Josef (or Zef) Racek, who now fronts the band Harvest Soon in Montreal.

Zef is back in town to share the bill with Pocket Writer for Saturday's show at Pressed. 8pm, $7.

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.


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