5 bands with animal names
The WheatmonkeysThe Wheatmonkeys
Kathedral, Saturday (June 10), 11 pm
In the theory of musical evolution, these punk primates fit comfortably between Simple Plan and Goldfinger. The over-age set might roll their eyes, but the kids will love it.
Peter KatzPeter Katz
Drake, Thursday (June 8), midnight
It's best to listen to this Galaxie Rising Star's laid-back folk jazz curled up in bed with a warm glass of milk and few chicken-flavoured treats.
El DogEl Dog
Rancho Relaxo, Friday (June 9), 11 pm
More poodle than pit bull, this Glasgow foursome's hushed melodies would make Radiohead proud.
The Brown HornetsThe Brown Hornets
Comfort Zone, Friday (June 10), midnight
Four Toronto boys play ass-shakin', tambourine-filled rock. If it weren't for their Canadian birth certificates, we'd swear they were Australian.
The CarpsThe Carps
Ciao Edie Roxx, Thursday (June 8), 10 pm
This distortion-loving d 'n' b duo haven't perfected their soul-meets-dance vibe, but they sure like giving Toronto its props. Angels,Saints and Heroes
5 future Bible heroes
Cain and AbelCain and Abel
Bagel, Thursday (June 8), 9 pm
Eve's battling baby boys turned into heartthrob emo kids clutching promo-photo puppies, singing "I've never been so happy to be sad." Let us pray.
Horseshoe, Thursday (June 8), 11 pm
Montreal spiritual leaders of cream metal give hard raunch rock about girls, drugs and war. One has a bunny tattoo; another is Johnny Depp's twin. Swoon.
Bukkake KatholikBukkake Katholik
Vatikan, Saturday (June 10), 9 pm
Reverend Trash cheerleads for youth fitness with the holy trinity: Easter Feaster, Cardinal Sin and Assaulter Boy. Germano-papal traditionalism + metal/punk/pop = true sin forever.
Angels, Saints and HeroesAngels, Saints and Heroes
Vatikan, Thursday (June 8), 10 pm
Influenced by Fat Elvis and Bonnie Tyler, this heavenly hardcore unit offers up punk rock prayers like Save Me/Forgive Me/Fuck You. Let the darkness prevail.
Richmond Lounge, Friday (June 9), 1 am
This Montreal MC is featured in a Def Jam video game, has a hit with Rah Digga and a childhood photo with Tupac on his website. Spiral Beach
5 bands that are barely legal
All Purpose Voltage HeroesAll Purpose Voltage Heroes
Reverb, Thursday (June 8), midnight
APVH rock the video-gamey keyboards and the attention deficit disorder diagnoses to spark a kind of low-rent weirdo hyper-pop cataclysm. Wear a helmet and protect your genitals.
The BluesersThe Bluesers
Silver Dollar, Saturday (June 10), 9 pm
Two bros, Mike, 16, and Chris, 13, put down the game controllers and pick up two sticks and an axe, respectively, to wail the blues with their dad.
Inward EyeInward Eye
Rivoli, Thursday (June 8), midnight
Hopefully, this slightly spazzy Winnipeg garage rock trio won't ditch their drummer at the door when they find out Ontario's drinking age isn't 18.
Spiral BeachSpiral Beach
Drake, Friday (June 9), 11pm; Indie Music Market, Saturday (June 10), 2 pm
The teens of Spiral Beach rebel against their folk music upbringing with psychy, synthy pop that sounds way mature and way twisted for their tender age. Totally.
We're Marching OnWe're Marching On
The Boat, June 8, 1 am
Sprouted up from the wholesome and friendly Guelph indie scene, We're Marching On are full of the kind of light, hope and swelling keyboards that only the young are still capable of.
5 bands you can eat
The Bagel, Friday (June 9), midnight
Take 1 heaping tbsp Space Invaders kapow, 2 cups DFA disco, a dash of Jem & the Holograms keytar kitsch and a dollop of action-packed punk rock snarl. Filter through a goofy boy duo and bake in the heat of the Phoenix sun.
Rancho Relaxo, Friday (June 9), 10 pm
Cover five Seattle spitfires in campy costumes, toss in equal parts angular 80s post-punk and J-pop girl-group whimsy and marinate overnight. Add a pinch of Butoh dance dynamism and a sprinkle of West Coast sunshine. Serve with a smile.
Tupelo HoneyTupelo Honey
Lee's Palace, Saturday (June 10), 9 pm
In a stadium-sized container, combine big box prairie rock, thick-cut beef, a couple tallboys of 50, a healthy smattering of roughneck stubble and post-grunge aggression. Slather in HP Sauce and barbecue the shit out of it.
Cake Bake BettyCake Bake Betty
The Bagel, Friday (June 9), 1 am
Select the ballsiest 100 per cent Joisey girl from the dingiest bar in Clarksville. Preheat amps to 11 and lightly char till a black metal coating covers an inner core of dissonant and slightly tender folk-rock. Garnish with gritty wails.
Superjuice Inc.Superjuice Inc.
Hooch, Friday (June 9), 9 pm
Whip Ottawa's finest booty-shaking beats into a dance-floor frenzy. Sift in good-time rhymes and glaze with summer-lovin' sweat. Turn up the heat and don't stop till you get enough.
5 bands of ye olde court
Bagel, Thursday (June 8), 1 am
Charlemagne hark from ye olde borough of Hamilton, and solemnly pledge their souls to the gods of rock. The temptations of modernism are resisted in favour of their true devotion to jangly indie pop.
King ReignKing Reign
Gypsy Co-op, Saturday (June 10), 1 am
A knight of the noble order of Scarborough, King Reign has skills in the majik arts of hiphop. Unlike some sorcerers in his field, King Reign forbids the use of bling in his potions, guaranteeing old-fashioned remedies to your rap woes.
Brutal KnightsBrutal Knights
Silver Dollar, Thursday (June 8), midnight
The Brutal Knights will slay you with their swords forged in drunk punk and numbskull rock. Their buzzsaw attack may seem initially intimidating, but their lineage is closer to court jester than executioner.
Castle ProjectCastle Project
Clinton's, Friday (June 9), midnight
From the wilds of Vancouver, BC, the Castle Project tell sad tales of the Pacific coast via earnest guitar pop songs. Soundtrack to the slow, tragic collapse of the Western empire.
King MemphisKing Memphis
Black Bull, Thursday (June 8), 1 am
King Memphis of Maine are learned in the ancient ways of rockabilly. Twangy reverb-drenched guitar, the thump and click of the upright bass and shuffling beats are the only weapons they need to rule their kingdom of greasers and rockers. How I Won The War
5 bands ready for war
Project MoveProject Move
Gypsy Co-op, Friday (June 9), 11 pm
Beantown-based special ops hiphop unit's members have gotten their hands dirty on past missions with RJD2 and Crazy Legs. Given their handle on rhyme intelligence, they'd make three damn fine recruits.
The DefectorsThe Defectors
Bovine, Saturday (June 10), 1 am
While they usually operate out of Denmark, this five-member infantry's command of 60s garage rock codes means we're pleased to have them crossing over to our side.
Hostage LifeHostage Life
Bovine, Thursday (June 8), 10pm
This five-man team operating in Ontario's southern zone is skilled in recreating the experience of getting captured by insurgents and assaulted with Ramonesy pop punk.
How I Won The WarHow I Won The War
Rancho Relaxo, Friday (June 9), 1 am
Seasoned local vets hailing from the Ted's Wrecking Yard years, these alt-soldiers are armed to the bicuspids with high-octane Canrock ammunition. We respect their confidence.
The Department of Foreign AffairsThe Department of Foreign Affairs
Holy Joe's, Saturday (June 10), 9 pm
These Ottawa-based guys will be your contacts for all roots rock and friendly folk fire. Report to their gig by 2100 hours for a full briefing.
5 bands to enhance your sex life
Wrinkle Neck MulesWrinkle Neck Mules
Cadillac Lounge, Saturday (June 10), 10 pm
The first known public Wrinkle Neck Mule display occurred in Richmond, Virginia, where the rapturous hollering accompanying the playful application of strings could be heard clear over to Poquoson. Word has it that boss beardo Bonnie "Prince" Billy loves him some Wrinkle Neck Mule and indulges himself every chance he gets.
Tijuana BullfightTijuana Bullfight
Vatikan, Friday (June 9), 10 pm
You don't need to go to Mexico to enjoy the face-smacking kick of a hard, sweaty and noisy Tijuana Bullfight. No surprise that this Hollywood band has become the choice of porn stars who like it rough.
Red Shag CarpetRed Shag Carpet
Neutral, Thursday (June 8), 10 pm
Not to be slept on, Red Shag Carpet offer loads of thrilling entertainment, provided you show the proper care and attention. Piano pop fans all over Edmonton claim that nothing gets them off like seeing Red Shag Carpet.
Fig for a KissFig for a Kiss
Cloak & Dagger, Friday (June 9), 10 pm
Celtic music buffs suggest wearing a kilt may be the best way to enjoy the full sensory impact of a Fig for a Kiss, but it's not essential. Fig-kissing fun can be had even wearing trousers!
Fjord RowboatFjord Rowboat
Crowbar, Thursday (June 8), 1 am
A select few Torontonians have already had their heart rates raised by the uniquely fuzzy thrills provided by the loudly buzzing Fijord Rowboat experience, and word is spreading fast. Rumour has it that Andy Magoffin has had these Rowboats in his House of Miracles studio when no one else was around.
5 bands with a death wish
Dead Letter Dept.Dead Letter Dept.
Bovine, Thursday (June 8), 9 pm
Talk about going postal. Hovering somewhere between alt-country and sweaty, balls-out punk, Toronto's Dead Letter Dept. paid their dues by trudging around North America and beyond for the last 10 years on DIY jaunts.
Stop Die ResuscitateStop Die Resuscitate
Ciao Edie Roxx, Thursday (June 8), 1 am
Hey, would you like some music with that irony? If the answer is, "Yeah, I guess so," then T.O.-based electro-hiphop trio SDR should fill your cravings for dirty, low-fi jams deliciously soaked in derision. All about making party tunes for those tired of the all-too-serious scene.
Murder City SparrowsMurder City Sparrows
Bovine, Friday (June 9), midnight
Not exactly subtle in their delivery, Edmonton's Jay Sparrow and band play whiskey-soaked "Texas punk" odes to their own demons. On their new album recorded at Willie Nelson's own studio, the Sparrows mix the red-headed stranger's storytelling with plenty of fire and energy.
Murder Your DarlingsMurder Your Darlings
Vatikan, Friday (June 9), 11 pm
With a blue-collar work ethic stronger than an army of hillbilly comedians, this Ohio foursome have plenty of spit and venom to channel into their tunes. Imagine a drunken, pissed-off Southern rock beast lookin' to kick your scrawny ass.
Kola Koka Death SquadKola Koka Death Squad
Kathedral, Friday (June 9), 11 pm
This Columbus, Ohio, dirty blues rock band plays with enough caffeine-fuelled energy, fuzzed-out guitars and snarling attitude to make them the perfect soundtrack to a barroom brawl.
5 bands who're probably emo
Turn Off the StarsTurn Off the Stars
Healey's, Friday (June 9), 1 am
Western U college buddies ditch campus life for rock diploma with double major in philosophy of emotive guitar band and the U2 sciences. Look for new self-titled dissertation to drop soon.
The Winter of Our DiscontentThe Winter of Our Discontent
Art Bar, Saturday (June 10), 1 am
Cleveland's Justin Markert strums a sad guitar in the tradition of young, depressed white males like Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley and Jeff Tweedy.
My Darkest DaysMy Darkest Days
Rivoli, Saturday (June 10), 11 pm
Four dour dudes search for the light with angsty Edge rock that fits them comfortably.
Clouds Forming CrownsClouds Forming Crowns
Lee's Palace, Friday (June 9), 10 pm
Former Guided by Voices bassist Tim Tobias enlists his sibling Tim (GBV producer) to trade dipsomaniac punk days of brood for lo-fi, fuzzed-out classic rock revivalism.
Five Blank PagesFive Blank Pages
Silver Dollar, Saturday (June 8), 8 pm
Poignant Moneen proteges from Brampton play teary-eyed indie rock tunes about heartbreak, suicide and staying optimistic. Whisper-to-roar dynamics reminiscent of Eric's Trip and Hayden.
5 bands that travelled really far
El Mocambo, Thursday (June 8), 9 pm
Konichiwa from Tokyo! Japanese chicks are cute and overly hip and wear ridiculously stylish shoes. The punk rock is contemporary mixed with old skool. Watch out for banging heads! Rock on!
Saian Supa CrewSaian Supa Crew
Richmond Lounge, Saturday (June 10), midnight
Bonjour. French rappers deny the laws of hiphop en français. (Didn't know French hiphop had laws.) Crazy beats and supa-fast rhymes about serious topics may be more interesting if you speak French. Baguette.
A BrandA Brand
Crowbar, Friday (June 9), 1 am
Salut. Antwerp, Belgium, is fun. It's been raining glam pop and art rock. Got lost in lo-fi land, but there were lots of electric guitars. We saw choreographed dancing and black leather jackets. Nothing is as it seems. Adieu.
Dave Mann FreeDave Mann Free
Times Cafe, Saturday (June 10), 9 pm
G'day, mate! Lucky I brought my khakis, tuque and sandals to Fremantle, Australia. Lots of folk and roots rock here, with some reggae -- bluesy and uplifting. Kind of like Jack Johnson. Chillin' on the beach. Please send money and hacky-sack. Peace.
Sassy KraimspriSassy Kraimspri
Drake, Saturday (June 10), 11 pm
Chick hard rock/metal Hallo. Oslo, Norway's rock chick is hard and hot. I'm slightly afraid of puke, screaming and silly ESL lyrics. Lunachicks/Babes in Toyland/L7 r popular here. I want to come home!