We're not entirely sure why bootylicious belters Queen Latifah , Erykah Badu and Jill Scott chose to call their soulful superstar tour the Sugar Water Festival, but we're guessing it doesn't have anything to do with the Cibo Matto song of the same name (although that'd be really rad). Maybe Monsta Mammas Of R&B was taken? Anyone with a hankering for smooth strains of nu-school soul sung by divas who could teach J.Lo a thing or two should boot it to the ACC July 27 for the righteous triple-decker bill. Let's just hope it's the Queen - and not her Dana Owens alter ego - who shows up. 40 Bay. $49.50-$89.50. 416-870-8000.
Aimee Mann 's latest offering, The Forgotten Arm (SuperEgo), may be a concept album slash illustrated novel based on the story of a hapless boxer who falls in love with a beauty at a county fair, but let's hope she doesn't cause any shiners during her July 29 Phoenix gig. If the melancholy crooner's past shows are any indication, all the bruising and bloodshed inflicted on the audience will be purely metaphorical - y'know, in the achy-breaky heartachey sense. But the considerably more upbeat 70s-classic-rock-meets-alt-country vibe of The Forgotten Arm suggests Mann's live performance should be much peppier. 410 Sherbourne. $30. 416-870-8000.
All about the Benjamins
Rumour has it that flamboyant piano-basher Rufus Wainwright was planning on changing his name to Ben after teaming up with Ben Folds and Ben Lee of the Ben-tastic "super" group the Bens. In any case, you won't be disappointed by Lee's whimsically earnest Zen ditties and the well-crafted pop dramatics of the Folds/Wainwright ivory-tickling double header when the three lads hit the Kool Haus August 9. Unless you're, like, the biggest Ben Kweller fan in the world. In that case, you're outta luck. 1 Jarvis. $34.50. 416-870-8000.
Knitters back in action
Looking for someone to blame for the alt-country scare of the 90s? Leave Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar out of it. John Doe and Exene Cervenka of Los Angeles group X made hayseed twangin' an acceptable pastime for bored punk thrashers when they formed their Knitters side project in 1984 with members of the Blasters to play their favourite country covers. The Knitters' subsequent Poor Little Critter On The Road album inspired hundreds of people to check out their parents' dusty honky-tonk records. That includes the future founders of Chicago's insurgent country label, Bloodshot Records , who compiled the Knitters tribute disc Poor Little Knitter On The Road in 99. The Knitters briefly reunited three years later, but now they're back together for a one-off tour that brings them to Lee's Palace August 7. Come celebrate the 20th anniversary of their influential debut - it's sure to be a stellar event. 529 Bloor West. $22.50. 416-870-8000.
Sledge of soul
For recent Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee Percy Sledge , the downside of having the first tune he recorded become a multi-million-selling hit - besides having to sing When A Man Loves A Woman at every damn show he's ever done - is that the monster smash overshadows everything he's recorded since. Sadly, today Sledge is largely known as a one-hit wonder, although he actually has a deep catalogue of Southern soul classics like Out Of Left Field, Cover Me, Take Time To Know Her and the wonderful True Love Travels On A Gravel Road, all of which he'll hopefully be reprising along with his Big Chill anthem at the Reverb August 24. 651 Queen West. $42.50. 416-504-0744.
Rhino-sized hiphop event
If you've seen old photos of the Ultramagnetic MCs in their matching Troop warm-ups, you know that hiphop and street fashion have been closely tied since way back in the day. So it's no big surprise that clothing designer Marc Ecko is stepping up to present the Getting Up Festival. The two-day event, which touches down at the Docks August 13 and 14, boasts performances by some of the biggest stars in contemporary hiphop, including Ludacris, Nas, Lil Jon, Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, Kardinal Offishall, Rascalz and even Vancouver's Swollen Members. In addition, the festival features b-boy and MC battles, a car exhibit, graffiti expo, a fashion show, interactive gaming lounge and more product pushing than you can possibly imagine. 11 Polson. $59.41-$94.52. 416-870-8000.
New York's Last Poets have never really gotten their due as godfathers of rap, but since members Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan appeared on Common 's recent single, The Corner, they've received more attention than ever before. The Last Poets are hoping to parlay that profile boost into record sales when they release their star-stacked new disc later this year. You better believe they'll be previewing tracks from the forthcoming album as part of Harbourfront 's Hot & Spicy Food Festival (July 29-August 1, concert August 1). It's not clear what the Last Poets have to do with zesty dishes, but we're just glad they're coming back to town, along with soulful R&B stylist Lizz Fields . 235 Queens Quay West. Free. 416-973-4000.
Lock up your daughters!
Since school let out forever about a hundred years ago in Alice Cooper 's world, chances are no nubile groupie in her right mind would give him the time of day nowadays. Nevertheless, factor in the brand new fan base of teen stoners who've been turned on to openers Cheap Trick after hearing the twisted guitar rockers singing the theme song for That 70s Show and you've gotta figure at least one or two impressionable and fresh-faced fillies might be led astray after showing up for the shock rock assault, which takes over the Docks August 22. 11 Polson. $58.50. 416-870-8000.
Dubtribe Soundsystem come to town on their official last tour ever July 29, likely at a certain well-loved and picturesque outdoor venue. We'd be more specific and say the Sunnyside Pavilion, but we can't confirm it. Contact email@example.com closer to the date and you'll get the info you need. firstname.lastname@example.org