THE WACO BROTHERS, JEFF TWEEDY, NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL, BEIRUT, LUCIUS and many more as part of TORONTO URBAN ROOTS FESTIVAL at Fort York Garrison Common (250 Fort York), Friday to Sunday (July 4 to 6), $67.50-$107.50, fest pass $149.50-$329.50. HS, RT, SS, TF. torontourbanrootsfest.com. See listing.
Post-punk legends the Mekons nearly played TURF this year - Toronto's newest and arguably best folk fest, now in its second year.
But fear not, hardcore fans. Though the Chicago-via-UK group isn't officially performing, guitarist Jon Langford and his alt-country outfit the Waco Brothers are all over the fest, with Mekon Sally Timms along for the ride. At the Garrison Common, the band plays Friday and Saturday, collaborates Sunday afternoon with the Burlington Welsh Male Chorus (rumour has it that they'll do Mekons tunes alongside sea shanties for that one) and appears at the Horseshoe Tavern that evening.
Langford is also sitting in on Jeff Tweedy's Sunday evening set at Garrison Common.
Whew. Intermingling much?
The Waco Brothers aren't the only musicians at the fest collaborating with or otherwise linked to fellow TURFers. Here are just some of the ways the bands are connected:
Jeff Tweedy + Lucius
Tweedy's new single, I'll Sing It, features backup vocals by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Brooklyn indie pop band Lucius (playing TURF Friday at 4:50 pm). Perhaps they'll stick around and join Tweedy for his set.
Neutral Milk Hotel + Beirut
Beirut's Zach Condon has said that as a teenager he sang Neutral Milk Hotel songs for friends. Fitting, then, that his career got a boost when NMH's Jeremy Barnes played on Beirut's critically acclaimed Balkan folk-inspired 2006 debut, Gulag Orkestar. (Beirut play Friday at 9:30 pm, Neutral Milk Hotel Sunday at 8:30 pm).
Neutral Milk Hotel + Andrew Jackson Jihad
Phoenix folk-punk rockers Andrew Jackson Jihad (Saturday at 3:10 pm) covered NMH's Two-Headed Boy on 2009 split 7-inch Under The Influence, Vol. 6.
Drive-By Truckers + Shovels & Rope
Alt-country rockers Drive-By Truckers follow recent tourmates Shovels & Rope (Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst), a rabble-rousing Charleston, South Carolina, husband-and-wife folk duo, on stage Saturday (Shovels at 2:30 pm, Truckers at 3:40 pm).