CMW 2016: Tegan and Sara’s Toronto

Plus: more must-see shows at Canadian Music Week


CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK runs to Sunday (May 8) at various venues. cmw.net.


1. Tegan and Sara

The Lena Dunham-approved power-pop stars Tegan and Sara headline this iHeartRadio showcase. It’s a chance to catch the Vancouver-based twins before their anticipated Love You To Death album drops June 3, and it comes a full five months before their Massey Hall gig in October. Tegan Quin took a moment to tell us about the Toronto hot spots she and her twin can’t pass up whenever they come to town. 

Thompson Toronto

Unfortunately it’s not often we even get to spend the night in Toronto. Generally we’re on the bus and leaving town for an overnight drive after a show. But when we do, I’ve enjoyed staying here. The bedding, the in-hotel products and the Thompson Diner all make for a great stay. And there’s nothing like being able to walk out the door and enjoy a good coffee, a walk or a memorable meal. The Thompson is close to all of those things. 

Kensington Market

Before our show with Fun. a few years ago, I booked a loft in Kensington Market off AirBnB and spent a week checking out the neighbourhood. I loved it. It was centrally located and busy enough that if I ever moved or had another extended stay in the city, I’d go back in a heartbeat. Shopping, people-watching, great food and coffee…. 

Aunties and Uncles

Cool spot. Great food. I always seem to end up there at least once when I’m through Toronto. I even met Daveed Goldman from Choir! Choir! Choir! there. He introduced himself, told me about their amazing twice-a-week choir, and we ended up having them sing with us at the Junos!  

Dumplings at Mothers Dumplings

Honestly. Just stop reading and go there and eat them. 

Trinity Bellwoods Park

I’ve only been twice, but I had such a good time. The last time I sang Ani DiFranco songs with my best friend and had ice cream. Magical place. 

Tegan and Sara play the Grand Ballroom Sheraton Centre (123 Queen West), Friday (May 6), 6:30 pm. $39.50. ticketmaster.ca.


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2. Yuna

Thanks to her hit Crush, featuring equally golden-voiced Usher, Malaysian soul-pop singer/songwriter Yuna should draw a healthy-sized crowd at the Mod Club. Expect super-chill vibes, some Aaliyah stylings and new songs from her DJ Premier-produced third studio album, Chapters (out May 20).

At the Mod Club (722 College), Thursday (May 5), 6:30 pm. $21.50. ticketfly.com.


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3. Tommy Stinson

Tommy Stinson has kept busy ever since the Replacements broke up in the early 90s, among other things as the fill-in bass player for Soul Asylum and Guns N’ Roses. Seeing as Duff McKagan is back in the latter, Stinson’s smartly using his Axl-free time to bring his new batch of mostly unreleased solo material to town. We’re all the better for it. 

At the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Thursday (May 5), 11 pm, $21.50 and at Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen West), Friday (May 6), 2 am, $15. cmw.net. 


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4. White Lung

So many reasons to catch White Lung at CMW. Mish Barber Way (her new post-marriage surname) is an incredible frontperson: passionate, kinetic, unafraid of getting confrontational. Kenneth William is a guitar god. And the Vancouver breakneck rockers’ poppy fourth album, Paradise, comes out the same day as this show, so you know it’s going to be a party. 

At Velvet Underground (510 Queen West), Friday (May 6), 11 pm. $15. cmw.net.


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5. Amir Obè

Detroit/Brooklyn rapper Amir Obè has many ties to Toronto, the biggest being that he produced Star67 on Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Mississauga’s PARTYNEXTDOOR features on Obè’s newest single, Truth For You (they also toured together), and he’s about to tour with the Neighbourhood, along with our very own Jahkoy. Who knows what surprises might be waiting in the wings at this show. 

At the Mod Club (722 College), Saturday (May 7), 11 pm. $20. cmw.net.

carlag@nowtoronto.com | @carlagillis

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