1. South of Bloor (Toronto): Friday May 8th at The Cameron House at 11 PM
Okay, full disclosure: I’d totally hang out with these guys at my house but I ran out of spots up there. Also, when you compare yourselves to Maritime in your CMW profile that goes a long way with me. South of Bloor are as good as it gets when it comes to emerging indie-pop/rock in Toronto and something tells me the room will be slammed for their set.
2. Julia Why? (Australia): playing Thursday May 7th at 11 PM at Bovine Sex Club and Friday May 8th at 12:55 PM (afternoon) at the Rivoli
If you are a fan of Sleater-Kinney style indie rock, then you are probably a fan of Julia Why? If you are a fan of free food, amazing music from Australia, and a set time that is in the afternoon and not interfered with by any other bands than I suggest you go see them at the Rivoli. That’s my plan.
3. Goodbye Honolulu (Toronto): playing Friday May 8th at Silver Dollar Room at 10 PM
Goodbye Honolulu are an emerging act playing fuzzy garage pop/rock with that stick-to-your-ribs addictiveness that bands spend years trying to hit. These boys got it in their first go round. It is no surprise, then, that Dan Burke–who has quite a set of ears for this style of music–has them playing one of his Silver Dollar shows.
4. Aldo (Brazil): playing Saturday May 9th at Underground Garage at 12 AM
This band sent me the hands-down best email inviting me to their showcase or to do a show that I received during this year’s lead up to Canadian Music Week. The sacrifice and hardships bands like this make to come from countries like Brazil is really inspiring. If you are a fan of LCD Soundsystem and electro-inspired dance pop, then you are going to want to find Aldo during the fest.
5. Archie Powell & the Exports (Chicago): playing Friday May 8th at Hard Luck at 9 PM
There’s a weird feeling somewhere between pride and disappointment when a band like Archie Powell & the Exports, who you handpicked to play to a really impressed crowd a few years back at a festival show at Rancho, level up a few times and are no longer available to your room. But that’s for me and my therapist to deal with. You can just go to the Hard Luck and party down.
6. Like A Motorcycle (Halifax): playing Saturday May 9th at Rivoli at 11:30 PM
I found this killer Halifax punk quartet, recently expanded from a trio, the other day while researching acts for Halifax tour dates I am booking. I’ve been rockin’ their stuff ever since. I’ve never loved seeing punk at the Rivoli–but then again I’ve always loved seeing East Coast acts, there so what wins out?
7. Murder Murder (Sudbury): playing Wednesday May 6th at 9 PM at Dakota Tavern
The Dakota Tavern’s lineups seem to have a lot more teeth this year than in years past. I like that. Don’t get me wrong: they always have stacked lineups and the place is jammed, but this year they’ve got that bite that gets someone like me excited. In this case Murder Murder also happen to have my vote for the finals of CBC Searchlight–rad as hell band.
8. Rusty (Toronto): on Friday May 8th at Bovine Sex Club at 2 AM
So there comes a time when a band has played enough reunion shows without putting out new material that it starts to lose a bit of steam…and well, that time might be coming for Rusty. But have no fear, a new album is in the works from Rusty and everything is right in the world again. “I hit top speed I smoke the dragon…”
9. Scattered Clouds (Hull): playing Handlebar on Thursday May 7th at 11 PM
Now this is a perfect band for Handlebar. The venue has developed a strong reputation for being a great spot for avant-garde indie, which is probably why Wavelength puts on so many shows there. Well, that describes Scattered Clouds perfectly. Want to see a disturbing clown-based video? They have that too.
10. Steve Maloney and the Wandering Kind (St. John’s): playing The Paddock on Saturday May 9th at 11 PM
Full disclosure, I’ve never been to the Paddock. It could be nice, it might be the worst–so look into that. What won’t be the worst is the music because Steve Maloney is a songwriter so talented that being in Newfoundland, with the difficulties that come along with that particularly related to touring, has not been an obstacle for him. Great band, and by Saturday you are going to need a relaxed set like this. Trust me.