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Canadian Music Week: Thursday’s Suggestions and Curiosities

Here we go: Canadian Music Week has arrived! The expansive festival can be found all over Toronto’s clubs and venues for the remainder of the week and there’s plenty to see, so don’t be afraid to get out there and explore. But if you don’t have the time or cash to hit up everything on the schedule, or simply want a couple of recommendations prior to venturing on your own, then look no further! Here’s what we think may be good, or at least looks neat, for Thursday the 20th.

1. & 2. Whitehorse and Tanya Tagaq

Where? Phoenix Concert Theatre

When? 11:50 PM and 10:40 PM respectively, doors 7:30 PM

How Much? $34.50

There’s been a lot of buzz about both these acts, and for good reason. Whitehorse and Tanya Tagaq are both unique Canadian artists well worth witnessing, and their smouldering popularity reflects that. Whitehorse’s acoustic husband/wife duo creatively use loop pedals to turn their performance into a fantastic wall of sound – something to absolutely see live. Tanya Tagaq is an Inuk throat singer from Nunavut that’s picked up all kinds of accolades for her traditional craft, and beautifully reflects a sector of Canadian music that is often overlooked by the public. Both these acts are well worth the visit, and don’t let the price scare you – an intimate evening with the two is priceless.

3. Sebadoh (but for supporting acts Walrus, The Zoobombs, and Billy Moon)

Where? Horseshoe Tavern

When? Doors 7:30 PM (10 PM, 12 AM, and 2 AM respectively for supporting acts)

How Much? $20

No offence to Sebadoh (whom I’ve never heard of before), but it’s actually the supporting acts in this lineup that draw my attention. While studying recently in Halifax, locals Walrus have been big blips on my radar for quite a while. The group has been getting all kinds of Nova Scotian attention and are being hailed as the next big east coast thing – which is worth deciding yourself. Japanese indie rockers The Zoobombs are also on this bill, so if you missed them Tuesday you get another chance. And finally, Billy Moon is another Halifax act that has since made their way to Toronto. I saw the group play at NXNE last summer and really enjoyed them, and they’ve since released some great tracks that I keep coming back to.

4. Aussie Night Out

Where? Hideout

When? Doors 6 PM

How Much? $10

Maybe it’s my attraction to the accents, maybe it’s my affinity for raunchy Australian TV, or maybe it’s my obsession with the Mad Max franchise, but the Aussie Night Out showcase really piques my interest. I’ve never heard of any of the artists before, but with ten (!!!) acts playing rapid-fire sets over the course of the night, I can’t help but think there’s bound to be some neat musical acts from Down Under that’ll feed into my obsession with the country. And come on, you’re literally paying one dollar per band. That in and of itself is a draw!

5. A Taste of Reggae, Reggaeton, and Dance Hall

Where? May Cafe

When? Doors 8 PM

How Much? $10

Another instance where I haven’t heard of the artists, but I’m more interested in the general show itself. Featuring acts from Jamaica, Mexico, and Canada, the evening looks like a great crash course in island-influenced genres. I’m personally a big fan of ska, the mish-mash of British rock with Jamaican reggae, so it’s always exciting to see how other music spheres collide to see what they produce. This showcase is the perfect chance to see it happening on Canadian soil, so it’s definitely an intriguing show! And if you like dancing, this is definitely the place to be – reggae’s really got a way of getting people bopping.

Mathew Kahansky

Once upon a time, Mat studied journalism. That's how he became Alan's one-time intern and current-time contributor, and the rest is ongoing history - get it? Mat also studied biology and music, so he has a strangely specific knowledge set that doesn't really apply anywhere other than useless fun facts. He currently works for a music tech start-up in Halifax, and is a big fan of the em dash.

Mathew Kahansky has 297 posts and counting. See all posts by Mathew Kahansky

3 thoughts on “Canadian Music Week: Thursday’s Suggestions and Curiosities

  • You have never heard of Sebadoh?

    Aside from the fact that you are a google away from their importance and tunes, maybe you should recuse yourself from recommending anything music related until you, you know, have anything to draw upon from?

    This is not an insignificant band from the past 20 yrs. Shit, ask Cross .


    • Hi G,

      Thanks for the input! The goal of these articles is to share my honest interest in the festival’s acts – and being unfamiliar with some of them is a part of it. Call it youthful ignorance if you’d like, but I just do my best to be transparent about the tools and opinions I have. I’d love to hear your suggestions for the week though, it’s always nice to hear what other people’s take on music can be!

      Have a great day 🙂

      – Mat

      • Fine, but you can’t call them suggestions if your palate has nothing to draw from.

        One has to have certain authority to recommend anything.

        Being curious is a good trait, though. Rock on.



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