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Canadian Music Week 2011 Recap!

March 15th, 2011

Another Canadian Music Week in Toronto has come and gone, and we already miss it! Yesterday we gave you the lowdown on The Indie Awards, and today we’re telling you about this past week’s highlights, including the new bands you should keep your ear to the ground for, and the sweaty dance parties! Let’s get started!

First night! High expectations! And who better to ease into the festival with than Darren Eedens. The indie folk tattooed newcomer took over The Central and started things off right. Think Tallest Man On Earth meets Mumford & Sons plus Canadian with a banjo. What do you do when your amp cuts out during your set? Darren Eedens takes it as an opportunity to get the crowd to clap along as he walks on tables, belting out his songs from the tops of his lungs. Awesome? Yes.

Day two kept things rolling with The Folk at Mitzi’s Sister. Don’t let their name fool you, this Guelph meets Toronto foursome fills your ears with energetic indie rock made to dance to. Fun fact? Emma the guitarist and Sara on the vocals and keys are twins!

Toronto boys Dinosaur Bones recently released their debut album “My Divider” on Dine Alone Records, and brought the celebration to Lee’s Palace on Friday. Warming up the crowd with their punchy indie pop rock, they’re worth the listen. Not to mention their good looks…

Next up was Bombay Bicycle Club! The British gentlemen had played a lovely acoustic set at Sonic Boom Records earlier that day. Just check out this version of “Rinse Me Down” that NOW caught…

Pretty great right? That in store performance was in fact they’re first this side of the Atlantic! Their show later that night at Lee’s also marked their first electric gig in North America! The gig sold out and the place was packed! From start to finish their set was sweaty, upbeat, nonstop energy. The crowd weren’t the only ones having a good time, as lead singer and guitarist Jack Steadman let us know that it was one of the most fun shows they had played in a while! With the setlist including songs from both their 2009 album I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose and 2010’s Flaws, Bombay Bicycle Club were nothing short of fantastic.

Montreal men Parlovr kept the party going at Lee’s. They describe their live show as “hair-flailing ecstatic joy”, a pretty perfect description as the hair flailing and good times were overflowing. If you’re unfamiliar with Parlovr, check out this Blogotheque video. So much fun.

Closing the night wasMake Your Exit playing a 2am set at Sneaky Dee’s. Fresh off their Breakfast Television performance, the Toronto indie post-rockers graced the rowdy crowd with their four part vocal harmonies and kickin’ saxophone solos. Make Your Exit are the embodiment of Canadian cottage good time fun. You just want to grab all your friends, cozy up near a campfire, and sing along.

The Indie Awards! The “biggest thing out of Canada since Pamela’s double-ds” aka London Ontario’s own Shad preformed a slick set after winning Urban Artist of the Year. Playing songs off his Polaris nominated TSLO like ‘Yaa I Get It‘ and the sunshiny ‘Rose Garden‘, and throwing in the classic ‘The Old Prince Still Lives At Home‘, Shad had the crowed all warmed up in no time.

Last but certainly not least, the brilliant, the amazing, the oh so talented Janelle Monáe closed the show! The Royal York proved to be an excellent venue for her to preform in as it matches her classy aesthetic. Miss Monáe is all about putting on a show. Before she even hit the stage a master of ceremonies (top hap included) came out and got the crowd to chant her name. The lights dimmed and two screens lit up with Janelle Monáe on them, her giving a monologue of sorts about how we must save the future, the ArchAndroid, the Metropolis, and how we all must “dance or die!” And so we danced!

Janelle Monáe is a powerhouse. During her set she painted a painting on stage, did a stunning cover of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile”, got the crowd to lie on the ground during her encore, and then stage dived. The entire performance was backed by Monáe’s suited up, classy brass band and her dancing costumed minions, alongside some pretty cool projections. Yet to fall in love with Janelle Monáe? Fear no more. Just watch this. Great way to end the week.

Well, there you go! Let us know what you think! Did you see any CMW shows?

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