Besnard Lakes, In Flight Safety, Jade McNelis
Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Friday (June 22)
Favourites to be finalists in the Polaris Prize sweeps, the Besnard Lakes show why they could upset their Montreal rivals, Arcade Fire, at the Horseshoe.
Harbourfront's Enwave Theatre (235 Queens Quay West), Friday (June 22)
No doubt singer/songwriter Ryan Adams was gutted about having his Stonehenge performance cancelled, but maybe if people dress up as Druids for his Harbourfront show it'll cheer him up enough to play a decent set.
The Ex, Drumheller
Lee's Palace (529 Bloor West), Saturday (June 23)
Dutch punks the Ex have nothing to do with the Toronto Jazz Festival, but you're likely to experience more improvisational thrills and spills at their Lee's throwdown with Drumheller than you'll get at all the festival shows combined. Believe it.
Mobb Deep, Empire
Phoenix (410 Sherbourne), Monday (June 25)
Since signing with G-Unit, the infamous Queensbridge hiphop duo of Prodigy and Havoc have felt the sting of a serious backlash from long-time fans and critics alike, but 2006's Blood Money album has nevertheless sold over half a million copies. Word is, they plan on calling next year's follow-up Two Years Richer. Boo-ya!
Mod Club (722 College), Tuesday (June 26)
Unlikely as it may seem, singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega will be returning to town to preview her forthcoming Blue Note debut, Beauty & Crime, set for release in July. The 11-track song cycle is based on Vega's experiences in New York City, which sounds promising, although the involvement of KT Tunstall and producer Jimmy Hogarth may be cause for concern.