Not Bryan, it's Ryan!
As a songwriter, alt-country poster boy Ryan Adams has always been more about quantity than quality. So a few months without a single new disc from the prolific tunesmith can only mean one thing: yes, he's readying three new albums for release this year. The first, Cold Roses, which he'll be plugging at the Phoenix with his new five-piece backing combo the Cardinals on May 3, is set for release April 19, while the other two, tentatively titled Jacksonville and 29 (rumoured to be the number of times he unsuccessfully submitted the material for label approval) will follow soon after. 410 Sherbourne. $30. 416-870-8000.
We're gonna be seeing a lot more of Joss Stone now that the stunning UK soul phenom's replaced Sex & The City MILF Sarah Jessica Parker as the new face of the Gap. But before you get sick of the blond bombshell shilling khakis, check out her June 1 performance at Massey Hall . If Stone's mind-blowing tribute to Janis Joplin at the Grammies was any indication, baby's amassed the captivating stage presence to match her smokin' pipes. Best to see her now, before she starts selling out arenas. 178 Victoria. $42.50-$49.50. 416-870-8000.
Potty-mouthed indie MC Princess Superstar and partner Alexander Technique transform themselves into mash-up DJs as DJs Are Not Rock Stars for the second Toronto edition of Arthur Baker 's Return To New York party April 15 at Mod Club Theatre (722 College).
With everyone and their guitar-playing cousin jumping on the new-new wave bandwagon after a certain crew of Glaswegian art-school students made it cool again, it was only a matter of time before the original purveyors of punk-funkery tried to cash in on the trend. So we're not that surprised that Andy Gill has dragged the original lineup of seminal post-punkers Gang of Four out of retirement for their first official reunion tour in almost two decades. See whether the band that laid the groundwork for Franz Ferdinand, the Futureheads, the Moving Units and a slew of other death-disco dolts still have it goin' on when they hit the Phoenix (410 Sherbourne) May 14. $27.50. 416-870-8000.
Call it the O.C. factor. Along with establishing Scrubs weed Zach Braff as a bona fide filmic powerhouse (who knew?), last year's art-house hit Garden State promoted New Mexico indie pop crew the Shins from a cult band put on mixtapes by nerdy boys for their crushes to a "life-changing" musical sensation on heavy rotation in soccer moms' SUVs. The upside of this surge in popularity is that the Shins are finally bringing the songs from 2003's Chutes Too Narrow (and 2001's arguably superior Oh, Inverted World) to Toronto. Make like Natalie Portman and impress your favourite date by inviting him or her to the Kool Haus (1 Jarvis) April 17. $21. 416-870-8000.
Migs makes it
San Francisco deep house heavyweight Miguel Migs (of Naked Music fame) plays a late-night set April 15 at Boa Redux (270 Spadina).
Memo from Turner
For a short time in 2003 it seemed like the long-overdue Toronto return of Ike Turner was finally going to happen - at least until the highly touted Blues On Tour extravaganza was suddenly cancelled. Bummer. Two years on, the guitar legend - who can lay claim to having had a hand in the creation of rock 'n' roll - has a new date with his Kings of Rhythm band April 16 at the Reverb . There's no denying the man has some issues, but he's an incredibly gifted musician and still capable of putting on a very entertaining show. 651 Queen West. $38. 416-504-0744, 416-870-8000.
When the standards fad hit the jazz world a while back, everyone was lining up to revisit the timeless classics of Johnny Mercer, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart and Billy Strayhorn. It took a truly great interpretive stylist like Andy Bey to put everything into proper perspective with his latest work, American Song (Savoy Jazz), a textbook example of how to tastefully put a personal stamp on familiar favourites with artful style and tender grace. Don't miss hearing the maestro work his magic at the Top o' the Senator April 14 to 16. 249 Victoria. $tba. 416-364-7517.