Critically acclaimed underground San Francisco hiphop label Stones Throw Records celebrates 10 years of beats and rhymes Saturday (August 5) at Gypsy Co-op (817 Queen West). DJ Koushik spins highlights from the label's history alongside local support from Numeric and More Or Les . They'll also be giving away CDs throughout the night, so if you're lucky you'll be able to take some of the funk back home with you. This is also the warm-up for a larger Stones Throw anniversary tour in the fall that will see many of the label's top artists performing at the Phoenix (410 Sherbourne) on October 30. Herbert UK
Experimental house producer Matthew Herbert has made a strong name for himself chopping up samples of everyday objects and crafting them into memorable warm dance music. His most recent album, Scale, sees an increased role for traditional instruments alongside the electronics, with strings and horns propelling his adventurous and often politically charged pop oddities. On August 25 he brings a 10-piece band to Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West) as part of the Indie Unlimited festival, which should allow his big band and jazz influences to shine through like never before.
Mimi on the bridge
Talk about a logic-defying comeback. Two years ago, Mariah Carey was a washed-up wreck more likely to be name-checked as the punchline of bad Saturday Night Live sketches than for any artistic accomplishments. Then she adopted a J-Loesque "my friends call me" nickname, released a hugely successful album and suddenly she's making short films with Spike Lee and back on the stadium circuit. Witness her triumphant return when the five-octave neo-R&B diva brings her Adventures Of Mimi tour to the Air Canada Centre (40 Bay) August 13, with T.O. dancehall dude Sean Paul in tow to help curry favour with the kids. If you can't make that show, the pair play again two weeks later at the same venue. 40 Bay. August 13 and 29. $18-$109.50. 416-870-8000.
Is it disingenuous to put out an album called The Breakthrough after you've already released six others (and your last number-one hit is half a decade behind you)? Clearly, wig-crazy Yonkers yowler Mary J. Blige isn't too concerned, since she opted for dropping a disc by that name instead of assembling her much-anticipated greatest hits collection late last year. Happily, the R&B charts have been kind to her most recent effort - Brit fans gave top props to the lyrics on her latest single, One - and she's riding out a massive tour as a result. Destiny's Child cast-off LeToya helps warm up the Molson Amphitheatre crowd when Blige drops by August 22. 909 Lakeshore West. $45-$75. 416-870-8000.