Shit You Should See At Canadian Music Week

It's one of the best weeks of the year: when hundreds and hundreds of bands take over dozens of venues in downtown Toronto. For the next few days, we'll be out every night, sending our livers into shock while posting reviews and photos of all the shows we're not too drunk to remember in the morning. In preparation, we've put together this preview, with our picks for every night. Below, you'll find some of our favourite acts playing this year's festival, along with links to MP3s, streams, videos, interviews and more. And if that's not enough for you, you can also listen to the CMW preview edition of our Songs You Can Dance Around Your Apartment To podcast right on over here — and another quieter, more relaxing Songs You Can Laze Around Your Apartment To podcast over here.

Once the festival starts, you'll find all our coverage here. You can also follows us on Twitter (@LittleRedU) and Instagram (@LittleRedPhotos) and like us on Facebook too.

The full schedule for the festival is here. Individual tickets and wristbands ($75 for the whole week) are on sale here.

Mozart's Sister

We first saw Mozart's Sister play a backyard in Parkdale during the 2012 edition of North By Northeast. And the haunting, catchy, eletro-pop she wowed us with there is just as good when you hear it in a real venue. So we'll be excited to catch her set at the Garrison. And she's not the only who will be delivering plenty of hooks on Wednesday night. On record, Animalia has fleshed out her sound to something that has begun to approach Björkian proportions; we'll be interested to see what it's like live. Then Fitness Club Fiasco will be bringing their dance-friendly tunes to Baltic Avenue while Sudbury indie rockers The Almighty Rhombus follow with an 11pm set at Rancho Relaxo.

Animalia (9pm)
LISTEN: Animalia on SoundCloud
READ: Our interview with Animalia

Fitness Club Fiasco (10pm)
LISTEN: Fitness Club Fiasco on Bandcamp

The Almighty Rhombus (11pm)
LISTEN: Lucid Living by The Almighty Rhombus
WATCH: "House Burns Down" by The Almighty Rhombus
WATCH: "Standoff" by The Almighty Rhombus
READ: Our interview with The Almighty Rhombus

Mozart's Sister (1am)
MP3: "Chained Together" by Mozart's Sister
READ: Our review of Mozart's Sister at last year's CMW

Maylee Todd

On Thursday night, we'll be especially excited to check out two bands that are relatively new to us: the driving indie rock of Montreal's Le Trouble and the catchy pop of Toronto's Young Doctors In Love. But they're not the only great bands to check out on the festival's second full night. Jon Batiste brings his swinging New Orleans jazz to the Horseshoe right after a set by indie disco queen Maylee Todd. Just a few doors down the street, Veda Hille — who released one of the most joyously strange albums of last year: Peter Panties — will be playing a midnight set in the back room of the Cameron House. And if hip-hop is more your thing, the pioneering Michie Mee will be taking the stage at Fiction Nightclub.

Young Doctors In Love (9pm)
MP3: "10:35" by Young Doctors In Love 
MP3: "Eloise and Her Sister Marta" by Young Doctors In Love

Maylee Todd (9pm) & Jon Batiste and Stay Human (11pm)
WATCH: "Aerobics In Space" by Maylee Todd
WATCH: "Baby's Got It" by Maylee Todd
WATCH: Jon Batiste and Stay Human on the streets of NYC

Birth of Joy (10pm) & Le Trouble (11pm)
WATCH: "No Big Day Out" by Birth of Joy
WATCH: "Real Talk (Part 2) by Le Trouble
LISTEN: Le Trouble on SoundCloud

Veda Hille (12am)
LISTEN: Peter Panties by Vida Hille (and Niall McNeil, Marcus Youssef)
WATCH: "Yo Ho" by Vida Hille (and Niall McNeil, Marcus Youssef)
WATCH: "I Love You So You Love Me" by Vida Hille (and Niall McNeil, Marcus Youssef)

Michie Mee (12:10am)
LISTEN: "Elements of Style" by Michie Mee & L.A. Luv

The Balconies

We never miss The Balconies at a festival. Like, ever. Their raucous retro rock is the perfect soundtrack to a days-long bender. So we're bound to be there when midnight strikes at The Horseshoe Tavern on Friday night and The Balconies launch into their first song. But this year, they've got stiff competition from the Hamilton punk rockers in The Dirty Nil — they'll be roaring away down the street at The Bovine Sex Club at the very same moment. Earlier that night, we'll be checking out the infectious pop of Vancouver's BESTiE and Australia's Cub Sport — then hitting Sneaky Dee's for the always excellent HIGHS. For the late night crowd, the bizarro alien futurists of Tupper Ware Remix Party will be doing their thing at Lee's.

BESTiE (9pm)
LISTEN: BESTiE on Bandcamp
WATCH: "Pineapple" by BESTiE
WATCH: "Asleep On The Bus" by BESTiE

Cub Sport (10pm) & The High Dials (11pm)
MP3: "Evie" by Cub Sport
MP3: "Do You Hear" by Cub Sport
WATCH: "Pool!" by Cub Sport
WATCH: "Paradise" by Cub Sport
WATCH: "The Holy Ground" by The High Dials

HIGHS (11pm)
LISTEN: HIGHS on Bandcamp
READ: Our interview with HIGHS

The Balconies (12am) 
MP3: "Kill Count" by The Balconies
WATCH: "The Slo" by The Balconies
WATCH: "Boys and Girls" by The Balconies
READ: Our review of The Balconies show at NXNE 2012

The Dirty Nil (12am) 
MP3: "Fuckin' Up Young" by The Dirty Nil
WATCH: "Nicotine" by The Dirty Nil
WATCH: "Zombie Eyed" by The Dirty Nil
WATCH: "Fuckin' Up Young" by The Dirty Nil
READ: Our review of The Dirty Nil at NXNE 2013

Tupper Ware Remix Party (1:20am) 
WATCH: "Take On Me" by Tupper Ware Remix Party
READ: Our review of Tupper Ware Remix Party at NXNE 2013

The BB Guns

The festival's last night may very well end up being its best night. The BB Guns kick things off with their retro garage surf rock under the lights of The Mod Club, while The Silver Dollar boasts a promising one-two-three of Motel Raphael, the shout-along punk rock of Pkew Pkew Pkew (gunshots) and the Radio 3-friendly tunes of Grounders. Cub Sport (10pm at The Hideout) and HIGHS (11pm at Sneaky Dee's) will also be playing again, while Groenland takes over Adelaide Hall. Then, as the crazy week winds to a close, the Britopop-ish Cruelty Party will be hitting Wrongbar at midnight followed by the distorted pagan rock of PyPy.

The BB Guns (8pm)

MP3: "Baby I Hate You" by The BB Guns
READ: Our interview with The BB Guns

Motel Raphael (9pm) & Pkew Pkew Pkew (gunshots) (10pm) & Grounders (11pm)

WATCH: "Ghosts" by Motel Raphael
MP3: "Asshole Pandemic" by Pkew Pkew Pkew (gunshots)
WATCH: "Glory Days" by Pkew Pkew Pkew (gunshots)
MP3: "Along The Line" by Grounders
READ: Our interview with Grounders

Groenland (11:15pm)
WATCH: "Immune" by Groenland
WATCH: "The Things I've Done" by Groenland

The Cruelty Party (12am) & PyPy (1am)
LISTEN: "Ball & Chain" by The Cruelty Party
LISTEN: "Condition" by The Cruelty Party
LISTEN: Pagan Day by PyPy


Once the festival starts, you'll be able to find all of our coverage right here. And again, you can check out the full schedule here and get tickets and wristbands here

Posted by Adam Bunch, the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at

Photo: The BB Guns (by Adam Bunch)


Robb said...

Thanks for making a great list

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