The snow’s (mostly) gone, the temp’s above zero and it’s time to come out of hibernation. Here are your best bets for music.
It’s either feast or famine for fans of roots reggae, with precious little happening in the clubs until April 22. Then, on the same night that the soulful Toots Hibbert gets down Funky Kingston-style with his Maytals at the Phoenix (410 Sherbourne), Los Angeles crew the Aggrolites will be righteously rocking their head-nodding brand of Crystalites-inspired rock-steady grooves over at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West).
In May, the Molson Amphitheatre (909 Lakeshore West) gets into the swing of the spring concert season in splashy fashion with a stacked Kanye West bill featuring N.E.R.D., Rihanna and Lupe Fiasco on May 21.
Sheryl Crow plays the Molson Amphitheatre in May.
Although it’s not quite the spectacle that West promises, the May 26 appearance by singer/activist Sheryl Crow, coming off a multi-city Virtual March against global warming, is no less highly anticipated. Interestingly enough, the very next night Molson Amphitheatre plays host to Crow’s ex, Eric Clapton, who’ll be joined by pedal steel superstar Robert Randolph. Considering Clapton’s history with Crow and knowing the sort of pranks pulled by road-weary musicians during lengthy tours, it might be wise for Clapton to bring his own microphone to this May 27 stop. Hey, better safe than smelly.
Spring club action
Since you’ll hopefully be sweating in the sun during the day, you might as well continue sweating it out on the dance floor after dark.
Frankie Knuckles isn’t known as the godfather of house for historical reasons only. After decades of DJing, he’s still one of your best bets for a solid night of quality dance music. He’ll be headlining the Legends party May 18 at Mod Club Theatre (722 College), and is guaranteed to throw down the soulful goodness.
If you can’t wait for your deep house fix, the Garage 416 boys are bringing Jerome Sydenham to Revival (783 College) on April 18. Expect a diverse set that can move from Afrobeat to techno.
Those who like their dance music with more edge and less gospel will want to be hitting up the April 25 edition of Randomland at Circa (126 John). They’re bringing in Switch, who not only has been behind some of the more forward-thinking club tracks of the last few years but was also a key producer on M.I.A.’s last album.
On the electro tip, Erol Alkan is sure to deliver the distorted nu-rave club bangers when Embrace brings him to the Social (1100 Queen West) April 30. His remixes have been packing the dance floor lately, and his sets at the Miami Winter Music Conference were much talked about.